The Five Best Plays

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The Independent Culture
Troilus and Cressida

(Olivier, NT, London)

This theatre and this Shakespeare play are made for each other, a fact proved by the masterly sweep and precision of focus in Trevor Nunn's gifted production. To 19 May

Shockheaded Peter

(Lyric Hammersmith, London)

The Struwelpeter stories, served up as an unforgettably gory feast of the comic macabre in this mordantly inventive evening of music theatre. To 10 Apr


(Duchess Theatre, London)

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

The Dispute

(Poole Arts Centre)

Neil Bartlett's devilishly good production of Marivaux's clever tragi- comedy. 23-27 Mar


(Swan Theatre, Stratford)

Comedies don't come any funnier or more astringent than Ben Jonson's brilliant dissection of avaricious, over-reaching egotism. To 26 Mar