Marber, Patrick

Patrick Marber is a playwright, actor, and director. He was born in Wimbledon, London in 1964 and grew up in a middle class Jewish home. He went to Wadham College, Oxford, earning a degree in English, and started his career as a comedian. In an interview with the Guardian Marber claimed: “I consider myself a Jewish writer, like all my heroes: Tom Stoppard, David Mamet, Phillip Roth, Arthur Miller, Woody Allen.” (1997)

Marber’s first play Dealer’s Choice premiered at the National Theatre in 1995 and won the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy. The same year, Marber’s After Miss Julie was shown on BBC television. Marber’s 1997 play, Closer also opened at the National Theatre and won the Evening Standard Award for Best Comedy as well as the Critic’s Circle Theatre Award and the Laurence Olivier Award for Best New Play (amongst other awards). The play achieved international success and was translated into more than 30 languages. When it moved to Broadway, Closer was nominated for the Best New Play Tony Award. It was adapted for the screen by Marber in 2004.

In Howard Katz (2001), Marber depicts the events leading to the personal downfall of middle-aged Howard Katz who fails to balance his work life as a talent agent with his family life and the demands of his Jewish parents. The play received more mixed reviews than Marber’s other works.

Marber continued to direct and write screenplays for a number of critically acclaimed films including Zoe Heller’s Notes on a Scandal (2003) for which he received an Academy Award nomination in 2006. Marber recently wrote the film The Critic in 2023. He has also directed many prestigious theatre productions including Harold Pinter’s The Caretaker (1959). His play The Red Lion opened at the National Theatre in 2015. In 2016, he directed Tom Stoppard’s Travesties (1974) at the Menier Chocolate Factory. Marber’s revival of the play was highly successful and it was transferred to the Apollo Theatre, London in 2017. He directed Tom Stoppard‘s play Leopoldstadt, which is set in the Jewish community of early twentieth-century Vienna. Leopoldstadt premiered at Wyndham’s Theatre in 2020. The play closed due to the pandemic and reopened for a 12 week run in August 2021. Leopoldstadt had it’s Broadway premiere in October 2022, for which, Marber won the Tony Award for Best Direction of a Play. Marber directed Alan Bennett’s Habeas Corpus from December 2021 until February 2022 at the Menier Chocolate Factory.


—. Howard Katz. New York: Grove Press, 2003.

—. The Musicians: A Play. London: Samuel French, 2005.

—. Notes on a Scandal. Based on the Novel by Zoe Heller. London: Faber and Faber, 2006.

—. Don Juan in Soho: After Moliere. London: Faber Faber, 2007.

—. Plays 1: After Miss Julie; Closer; Dealer’s Choice. London: Methuen Drama, 2008.

—. The Red Lion. London: Faber and Faber, 2012.

—. Patrick Marber: Versions: After Miss Julie; Three Days in the Country; Hedda Gabler; Trelawny of the “Wells”; The Beaux Stratagem. London: Faber and Faber, 2018.