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Closer

In retrospect, 17 was probably too young to see a play whose first act ended with the line ‘Now fuck off and die. You fucked-up slag.’ But that’s what happened and I have never forgotten it. In 1997 Closer - the second play by British writer Patrick Marber was heralded by critics, press and audiences as sensational - a description that carries not only a celebration of its merit, but also the epochal baggage of a culturally raucous and reckless 90s. In the same month that Closer finished its initial run in the National Theatre’s Cottesloe auditorium, the Royal Academy opened the group exhibition Sensation changing the face of British Contemporary Art for good. As DamienHirst, Sarah Lucas, Tracey Emin, Marcus Harvey and others splattered the pristine white cube of the art establishment with body fluids, formaldehyde and warm Becks, the quartet of characters in Marber’s play did something similar to the rarefied world of the stage – painting an unapologetic picture of contemporary sexua…

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