peteg's blog - noise - theatre - 2014 07 18 Closer

Closer at the Den Theatre

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Well, Goldstar certainly takes the risk out of theatre-going: tonight's came to $10.50 plus beer. I feel increasingly bad about that as this production by Spartan Theatre was excellent. (A solution that has always appealed to me is to charge a nominal entry price and pass the hat around at the end of the night.) The Den Theatre put me in mind of the old spaces used by NUTS, back in the day, and I will certainly be spending more time in their bar/louge in the coming weeks and months, though I did not loiter tonight.

The strength of the production (and minimality but adequacy of the sets) made me focus more on the play, distracting though the actresses were: despite the lack of nudity, Alice (Poppy Golland) engages in some impressive acrobatic strip-club antics. Anna (Brianne Duncan Fiore) is the pivotal object of desire who predictably moves in with a dog. The blokes — Larry (Brian Grey) and Dan (Matt Pratt) — provide valliant support. Justin Hayford at the Chicago Reader is not wrong to slag the material off as cynical, and the rushed ending makes it clear that the playwright struggles to make much out of the mess. The early-internet chatroom clunkiness dates this movie in the same way that Dana Stevens observes of the present Sex Tape. Similarly the smoking is anachronistic, and what am I to make of that pianoification of Creep that opens proceedings? (My mind was playing Authentic Celestial Music for the most part.) Is it truth or forgiveness that lifts us above beasts? I'm keen to see what these guys do next. (Directed by Patrick Belics. Sterling British accents from all bar Alice, who is an American played by an American.)