Sizzling, steamy Closer opens at the Cultch Nov 8

Closer Shift Theatre Vancouver cast

The cast of Shift Theatre’s production of Closer. Photo credit: Shift Theatre

It’s catnip for actors.

Since Patrick Marber’s Closer premiered in London’s West End in 1997, the searing anti-romance has become a favourite of theatre companies with a taste for raw, uncompromising language and emotion. Beginning Nov. 8, Vancouver’s SHIFT Theatre  presents their version of the play, which many may remember from a 2004 Mike Nichols movie with Julia Roberts and Jude Law.

And what will SHIFT bring to the play?

The young collective is promising a fresh approach to what many consider a brilliant but cynical glimpse into the romantic lives of four people.

In Closer, which won the 1998 Olivier Award for Best New Play, two men and two women fall in and out of love and lust, leaving confusion and pain in their wake. The often brutally honest story about modern relationships (which was a little more modern when it premiered – an Internet chat-room figures prominently) never fails to provoke strong reactions in theatregoers.

Closer is the first play of SHIFT’s first full season. Prior to this, the collective—formed in 2008—has built a reputation for experimental work through productions like the annual 1-Act Festival. The festival presents original works and new stagings.

In a press release, Shift Artistic Managing Director Nick Sartore said, “Closer is an enormously important play – a kind of modern classic that articulates the unspoken experiences of a generation. We first explored the work through The Closer Variations – a deconstruction that played with political and psychological themes. It only made sense that its rich, fascinating source materials should constitute SHIFT’s first ever full-length play.”

Adam Janusz directs the cast, which includes Troy Cherkowski, Lara Rova, Christian Sloan and Alexis Kellum-Creer.

Closer runs Nov. 8 – 17 at Vancity Culture Lab at the Vancouver East Cultural Centre, 1895 Venables St.). Tickets: $25 at

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