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The Independent Culture
The Boat Plays by Gil Vincente form a sharply satirical portrait of politics and corruption in 16th-century Portugal. David Farr's handsome production is aided and abetted by a spectacular design by Angela Davies, who transforms the Gate Theatre i nto a ship with the audience as the passengers. Cinderella at Manchester's Contact Theatre also receives a smart production from Benjamin Twist. Naomi Radcliffe is a feisty Cinderella and Mark Vibrans's saucepan symphony steals the show.

Who needs Oliver! when you can have the intimacy of Richmond's Orange Tree Theatre and Flora the Red Menace? Lucy Tregear takes on the Liza Minnelli role and banishes comparison. Jonathan Harvey's Beautiful Thing is infinitely superior to his Babies. It oozes charm and deft production from Hettie MacDonald. It closes on Saturday. Go.