Review: ★★★ Close – Landor Theatre

Close centres around the experiences of six teenagers after the new girl from their school goes missing. It is a small production that is completely set in a public toilet that the group use as a kind of meeting place. The play is made up of several abrupt sections that reveal different accounts and theories about what happened to the new girl. The show starts after the new girl goes missing, so everything about what happened and what is going on at the time is shown through these conversations.

The tension builds throughout, keeping the mystery of what happened to the new girl and who was involved concealed until the very end. The cast have great chemistry and manage to give the audience a deep insight into the characters despite most of the interactions being around the subject of the missing girl. There are still moments of comedy, and you find yourself becoming more and more invested in the peripheral storylines as well as the central mystery of the missing girl.

The dialogue shifts between the sort of speech that you expect from teenagers and more poetic descriptions that serve as flashbacks. The transition between speech and memories is sometimes jarring, as it sounds a little out of place to hear a conversation between teenagers drift into such poetic language. However, the flashbacks give a sense of depth and allow the audience to know more about what goes on outside of what happens on stage. The monologues give various perspectives but the audience is limited to the characters’ accounts as we never actually see the new girl.

The show builds in tension and drama, adding more problems that the characters face outside of the missing person, and it doesn’t completely reach a resolution, but the ending feels appropriate for the rest of the show. You are left with a sense of how the characters feel and how they are left to deal with what has happened to them.  It was impressive that they told such a complex story from a simple concept with such a small cast through limited interactions. The cast developed six complex characters and showed the complicated relationships between them.

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Emma Grimsley
Emma Grimsley

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