The Five Best Plays

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The Independent Culture

(Duchess Theatre, London)

Michael Frayn's profound and haunting meditation on science, morality and the mysteries of human motivation. To 7 Aug

Oklahoma! (Lyceum Theatre, London)

Widely regarded as the best ever, Trevor Nunn's glorious production of the Rodgers and Hammerstein classic fully deserves its West End transfer. To 26 Jun

The Memory of Water

(Vaudeville Theatre, London)

Alison Steadman pulls off one of the funniest, truest drunk scenes ever in Shelagh Stephenson's fine play about sisters brought together for their mother's funeral. To 22 May

The Dispute (The Other Place, Stratford)

Marivaux's mordant 18th-century play about a sexual experiment is brought to life in this RSC/Lyric Hammersmith co-production. To 20 Mar

A Passionate Woman

(Leicester Haymarket)

Funny and moving, Kay Mellor's play (right) is much more than a Shirley Valentine re-run as penned by some cut-price Alan Bennett. To 20 Mar