The Independent Recommends: The Five Best Plays

Click to follow
The Independent Culture
The Winter's Tale (Lyric Hammersmith, London)

Declan Donnellan directs the Maly Theatre Company of St Petersburg in the first production by a non-Russian ever to win a Golden Mask award at the Moscow Theatre Festival. To 29 May

Copenhagen (Duchess Theatre, London)

Michael Frayn's haunting piece about science, morality and the mysteries of human motivation. To 7 Aug

The Cosmonaut's Last Message... (Lyric Studio, London)

David Greig's dryly comic and beautifully structured meditation (right) on the difficulties of communicating in a world of instant communication. To 29 May

Small Change (Haymarket, Basingstoke)

Beautifully acted revival of Peter Gill's splendid 1976 play, set in post-war Cardiff. Brave programming. To 29 May

Oroonoko (The Other Place, Stratford)

There's political indignation but a refreshing lack of political correctness in Biyi Bandele's powerful and witty dramatisation of 17th-century writer Aphra Behn's humane look at the slave trade. To 6 Oct

Paul Taylor