Closing Time

Site specific theatre is a great way to immerse an audience into the world that the piece creates. Being a play about a pub, in a pub, Closing Time does just that as it invites us to take a look at the individual lives that are all connected to it.

Closing Time is a well constructed and enjoyable play.

Firstly, this create an atmosphere that could not be possible within a theatre. The smell of beer and sight of actors in and around the bar create a sense of realism that could only be possible in this particular setting. However, this does also have its problems. As the play spans a period of time leading up to the pubs close, transactions between scenes can often be confusing without the help of the theatrical illusion showing when a scene ends and a new one begins. Also, due to the layout of the pub, it is difficult to see everything that is going on throughout the piece, but the actors clear projection does help with this.

Closing Time is written by Scott Murphy and, on the whole, the script is fantastic. Murphy captures the dialogue very well indeed and the script is so naturalistic that, being in the pub, it is easy to forget that you are watching a play. The play deals tastefully with a few relevant issues such as drugs, broken families and the closing of small businesses and there is plenty for each audience member to identify with on an individual level. But, very occasionally, these issues seem a little diluted by characters pushing the boundaries from reality into parody. Dave (Mark Lacey) and Irene (Katie Tracey) provide a lovely comic relief to the play, yet one particular scene involving an imaginary hoover seemed to exaggerate the characters too much and the realism of the play began to slightly drift away. This considered, the actors all did a fantastic job, capturing the accents and emotions of each character superbly.

This production is a good demonstration of how site specific theatre can really add to the atmosphere of a production. Closing Time is a well constructed and enjoyable play, but there are small instances where the inconveniences of staging a play in a pub do expose themselves and this does slightly dilute the strong content of the piece.

Reviews by Alex Hargreaves

theSpace on the Mile

Normal is an Illusion

theSpace @ Surgeons Hall

Not the Horse

Greenside @ Royal Terrace

Richard III

C venues – C cubed

A Midsummer Night's Dream

C venues - C

The Society of Strange

Paradise in Augustines

C'tait la Nuit


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £1.7m to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

In this play about a pub, in the pub, the audience catch a glimpse of the last days of its existence. It focuses on the lives that exist within it, including landlord Johnny, his returning, heroin-addicted son, his God-fearing, vodka-loving, interfering sister in law, his confidante and cleaner Chris, and his number one customer who suffers from a serious identity crisis. The concept is that the audience feel more like punters in this site-specific piece of theatre.

Most Popular See More


From £42.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Frozen the Musical

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Play That Goes Wrong

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Moulin Rouge! The Musical

From £30.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £15.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets