Academy Award and Golden Globe nominated British screenwriter, playwright, director, comedian and actor Patrick Marber kicked off his career on the standup circuit before working as a writer and performer in radio comedies. However, he did not begin working as a playwright until 1995 with “Dealer's Choice,” which brought him an Evening Standard Award and a Writers’ Guild Award. One of the most gifted and flourishing contemporary playwrights in the U.K., Marber gained a massive breakthrough with his next original play, “Closer” (1997, also a director), which received an Evening Standard Award, a Laurence Olivier Award, a New York Drama Critics' Circle Award and a Tony nomination for Best Play. An international success, the play has been produced in over 100 cities in more than 30 different languages throughout the world. His stage writing credits also include “Howard Katz” (2001), “The Musicians” (2004) and “Don Juan in Soho” (2006). Marber has directed several stage productions, such as David Mamet's “The Old Neighborhood,” Harold Pinter's “The Caretaker” and Dennis Potter's “Blue Remembered Hills.”
Marber made his screenwriting debut with the feature film adaptation of his popular play “Closer.” Released in 2004, the film, which was directed by Mike Nichols and starred big names like Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen, charmed audiences and critics alike and won Marber his first Golden Globe nomination. The London native enjoyed even more recognition with the successful psychological drama film “Notes on a Scandal” (2006), which he adapted from Zoe Heller's novel of the same name. For his writing effort, he was handed an Oscar nomination, another Golden Globe nomination and a British Independent Film Award. Marber also scripted “Asylum” (2005) and “Love You More” (2008, also a producer).
Marber is currently writing “Bond 23,” which will star Daniel Craig, Judi Drench and Rachel Weisz.
Marber has been married to his actress Debra Gillett since 2002. They have three children together.
Childhood and Family:
Patrick Albert Crispin Marber was born on September 19, 1964, in London, England, to a financial analyst. He was raised in Wimbledon. Patrick attended St Paul's School in London and the Cranleigh School in Cranleigh before studying English at Oxford University’s Wadham College.
In 2002, Patrick tied the knot with actress Debra Gillett. They have three kids.
Notes on a Scandal
Patrick Marber started a career as a standup comedian after college. Several years later, he joined the radio show “One The Hour” (Radio 4, 1991-1992) and “Knowing Me, Knowing You” (Radio 4, 1992-93) as a writer and performer. He went on to reprise his duty for the television spin offs “The Day Today” (BBC2, 1994) and “Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge” (BBC2, 1994-1995), which starred Steve Coogan. By the time he worked on “Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge,” Marber was also a staff writer for the BBC comedy series “Rory Bremner” (1989), wrote and performed on the standup comedy show “Saturday Zoo” (1993), played Roland on the 34 minute length comedy “Paul Calf's Video Diary” (1993), which he also co-wrote with Coogan and Henry Normal, and had written for the TV film “Pauline Calf's Wedding Video” (1994) and two episodes of “Coogan's Run” (1995). His acting gigs included guest roles in the television shows “Sean's Show” (1992) and “Paris” (1994).
In 1995, Marber debuted on stage as a writer and director with “Dealer's Choice,” based on his own experiences with gambling dependency. The play premiered at the Royal National Theatre in London in February 1995 and later transferred to the West End. It won a 1995 Evening Standard for Best Comedy of the Year and a Writers’ Guild for Best West End Play. Later that same year, Marber adapted August Strinberg’s “Miss Julie” to a post WWII British setting in the play “After Miss Julie.” Marber directed a production of the play, which was aired on BBC 2 in November 1995 as part of the network’s anthology series “Performance”.
Marber wrote his third play, “Closer,” in 1997. It was first performed at the Royal National Theatre on May 22, 1997, with Marber directing. The play moved to the West End in March the following year and went on to become an international hit. It moved to Broadway on March 9, 1999, with Rupert Graves, Anna Friel, Natasha Richardson (later replaced by Polly Draper) and Ciarán Hinds playing Dan, Alice, Anna and Larry, respectively. The production was closed after 172 performances in 1999. “Closer” won a 1997 Evening Standard for Best Comedy, a 1998 Laurence Olivier for Best New Play, a 1999 New York Drama Critics' Circle for Best Foreign Play and was nominated for a 1999 Tony for Best Play and a 1999 Drama Desk for Outstanding Play.
Marber opened the new millennium by having an unaccredited part in the Tom Cruise action sequel “Mission Impossible 2” (2000), which was directed by John Woo. The next year, he wrote and directed his next original play, “Howard Katz,” which was about a middle aged agent struggling with life, death and religion. The production opened at the National Theatre in 2001, but was not as successful as some of his other work. Still on stage, he wrote “The Musicians,” a play about a school orchestra's visit to Russia. It was performed for the National Theatre's Shell Connections program in 2004.
Also in 2004, Marber adapted his award winning play “Closer” into a feature film of the same name, which was helmed by Mike Nichols and starred Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen. The film earned primarily positive reviews from critics and was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role (Owen) and Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role (Portman), not to mention another 8 wins and 20 nominations. For his writing job, Marber picked up a Golden Globe nomination, a BAFTA nomination, an Online Film Critics Society nomination, a Golden Satellite nomination and a Discover Screenwriting nomination from the American Screenwriters Association. “Closer” was also a commercial success. With an original budget of $27 million, the film grossed nearly $34 million in the domestic market and over $81 million internationally.
Marber next collaborated with Chrysanthy Balis to write the screenplay for the British drama “Asylum” (2005), based on the novel of the same title by Patrick McGrath. The film was directed by David Mackenzie and starred Natasha Richardson, Marton Csokas, Ian McKellen and Sean Harris. The following year, he adapted the Zoe Heller novel “Notes on a Scandal” into a successful feature film of the same name that was directed by Richard Eyre and starred Judi Dench, Cate Blanchett and Bill Nighy. The psychological drama was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Writing, Adapted Screenplay for Marber. He also nabbed a British Independent Film Award, a Chicago Film Critics Association Award, a Golden Globe nomination, BAFTA nominations, a USC Scripter nomination and an Edgar Allan Poe nomination for his work on the film.
Returning to stage, Marber wrote the play “Don Juan in Soho,” based on Molière's “Don Juan.” The production debuted on December 6, 2006, at London's Donmar Warehouse theatre and ran until February 10, 2007. It starred Rhys Ifans and Stephen Wight and was directed by Michael Grandage.
In 2008, Marber wrote and produced “Love You More,” a 15 minute length drama directed by Sam Taylor Wood. It won various awards and nominations, including a British Independent Film for Best British Short, Cannes' Golden Palm nomination for Best Short Film, and a BAFTA nomination for Best Short Film, which Marber shared with producers Caroline Harvey and Anthony Minghella.
Marber has signed on to co-write (with Neal Purvis and Robert Wade) the new James Bond film “Bond 23,” replacing Peter Morgan. The film, set to be released in 2011, will be the third to star Daniel Craig as 007 after “Casino Royal” (2006) and “Quantum of Solace” (2008). Sam Mendes will sit in the director's chair for the movie.
British Independent Film: Best Screenplay, “Notes on a Scandal,” 2007
Chicago Film Critics Association Award, “Notes on a Scandal,” 2007