“You were the only folk out of five thousand who got through – you’re legit badass.”
Cormack, Findlay and Davies are the elite. They are the first generation of female soldiers to serve in the British infantry in close combat roles, ever. They’ve aced physical tests only 5% of female soldiers can pass; they’ve been trained to shoot, fight and kill. They’ve proven their exceptional skill and discipline – while everyone around them questions whether they should even be allowed to serve. And now they’re about to join the action.
Kate Bowen’s taut, funny and powerful thriller follows three very different, pioneering young women in the world’s most dangerous workplace.
Featured in Observer critic Susannah Clapp’s best theatre of 2018.
Sergeant John Adeyemi
Private Clare Davies
Captain Anna Sands
Private Sarah Findlay
Private Alison Cormack
Lance Corporal Brian Armstrong
Sarah Jane Shiels
Composer and Sound Designer
Sooki McShane CDG and Lucy Jenkins CDG
Fight And Movement Directors
Rachel Bown-Williams and Ruth Cooper-Brown from RC-Annie Ltd
Deputy Stage Manager
Assistant Stage Manager
Close Quarters was featured in The Observer's Best Theatre of 2018
Susannah Clapp, The Observer 30.12.18
Bowen’s intelligent, dramatic script is dynamically delivered by a crack theatre squad: set it in your sights...Here’s hoping that this Sheffield Theatres and Out of Joint co-production will be sent on a tour of duty around the rest of the country.
Clare Brennan, The Observer 4.11.18
💣 Absolutely loved #CloseQuarters by @Out_of_Joint / @crucibletheatre. Complex and layered investigation of women in the British army. Left inspired and empowered! With incredible design by @maxjonesdesign and @shielssj. Catch the final shows tonight!!! #feminist 💪🏼 pic.twitter.com/zcWsPEucEw— Benjamin Thapa (@_benjaminthapa) November 10, 2018
#CloseQuarters @crucibletheatre Studio is terrific. So good to see strong, fit female characters, expert at what they do. Characters who are fierce, funny & flawed, showing the challenges faced by women soldiers taking equal roles on the front line. Fresh & timely. https://t.co/ZegVOSpHtD— Barbara Crossley (@crossb) October 30, 2018
@Out_of_Joint @crucibletheatre #CloseQuarters . Superb in all areas, acting,production,technical, movement. Loved the physicality of it. Gave food for thought without being “in your face” as audience. More like this please. If you missed it you missed a great theatre experience.— Jennifer (@Sunnyjennfer) November 11, 2018
Overall, the script is strong, with a sense of the different dialects for each character, and a nice balance between comedy and drama; action and reflection...The direction and choreography keep the play tight and engrossing. The set is used well with action happening at multiple heights and clever integration of props and scenery, along with a few unexpected surprises.
It's an engaging watch, and though some of the themes may feel familiar, there's plenty of innovation in the setting, dialogue and production that makes this well-worth seeing.
Ruth Deller, Broadway World
Close Quarters is ... a play that explores the ongoing battle women, both soldiers and civilians, face every day. Close Quarters throws a grenade at the topic of gender and the army and leaves tales of friendships, relationships, the past, and the future as shrapnel across the Studio’s stage.
Cracking show today: #CloseQuarters from @Out_of_Joint @crucibletheatre. Amazing to see powerful and courageous women fighting on army front lines. Energetic and inspiring. Incredible performances. Bravo!— Jackie Daly (@JackieDaly) November 3, 2018
@Out_of_Joint Superb production of 'Close Quarters' at the Crucible this afternoon. Immense energy, immense imagination, immense commitment. Thanks a million- and *please* try to bring it on tour. It’s a stunner.— sue mendus (@mendus_sue) November 3, 2018
Big congratulations and well done to everyone involved #CloseQuarters @crucibletheatre @Out_of_Joint fabulous team work and effort after a last minute cast change. Great play, stories that must be told 👏🎭🏴— Michelle Edwards (@michelleedw1) October 29, 2018
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Stunning production shots courtesy of Mark Douet. Unbelievably, we’re down to our final 4 performances of Close Quarters! Time flies when you’re busy pioneering. ———————— ★★★★ #femalesoldiers #closequarters #outofjoint #theguardian #newwriting #touringtheatre #sheffieldtheatres #army #military #trailer #offwestend #regionaltheatre #thisgirlisonfire #thisgirlcan #girlboss #squad #squadgoals #onduty
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“The physical requirements to join the British infantry are extreme, and from day one the cast have trained hard: an hour a day of circuits, movement and gun practice, plus the gruelling rehearsals themselves in which they lift, run, dive and slide on top of acting.” Kate W ——————- Our cast have been giving 100% night after night, pushing their bodies to the limit to give the most honest portrayal of soldiers. We salute you! #outofjoint #closequarters #drills #circuits #movement #physicaltheatre #hiit #newwriting #fringetheatre
The top 10 theatre shows of 2018:
10. Close Quarters
Military drama “dynamically delivered by a crack theatre squad”, said Clare Brennan.
Susannah Clapp's top 10 theatre shows of 2018, The Guardian
Alongside the production of Close Quarters, Out of Joint offered a number of education opportunities for schools and young people:
We held 2-hour workshops run by actors from the company and offered a number of free workshops to schools in the Sheffield area. The workshops were a hands-on opportunity to gain insight into how Out of Joint create shows, designed specifically with the Live Theatre Review section of exams in mind.
Close Quarters – Page to Stage Q&A – Wed 31 October
We held a Page to Stage Q&A with the Close Quarters cast and Director, Kate Wasserberg. We invited teachers to submit questions beforehand that their students may have wanted to ask about the rehearsal process, and taking the play from script to performance. This post-show talk was filmed to be shared in class and for students to view it outside of school at their leisure to help prepare them for their Live Theatre Review exam.
Directing Masterclass – 3rd November
Led by Close Quarters director Kate Wasserberg, this sold out masterclass explored how to create gallows humour and how to find the balance between tension and relief.