Reviews: THE FIVE BEST PLAYS

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The Independent Culture
SIMPLY HEAVENLY

(Trafalgar Studios, London)

Langston Hughes's musical from 1957 has the hairs standing on the back of your neck. A dynamite cast let rip with jazz, gospel and blues. (0870 060 6632) to 5 Mar

DON CARLOS

(Gielgud Theatre, London)

Transfer from Sheffield of Friedrich Schiller's epic, maze-like romantic tragedy, with Derek Jacobi relishing his role as Philip II of Spain. (0870 890 1105) to 30 Apr

FESTEN

(Lyric Theatre, London)

Splendid production, by Rufus Norris, of the Dogme drama about an ill-fated family celebration. (0870 890 1107) to 9 Apr

ZTA MAIN DANS LA MIENNE (Barbican, London)

Peter Brook directs this beautiful evocation of the relationship between Chekhov and his actress wife, Olga Knipper. (0845 120 7550) to 12 Feb

MACBETH (Wilton's Music Hall, London)

Max Stafford-Clark's genuinely scary promenade production relocates the play to modern-day Africa. (0870 842 2200) ends Sat

AND ONE TO AVOID

This saucy series of sexual-fantasy monologues was a big hit in New York. But it's a big bore here in London.

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