The Independent Recommends: The Five Best Plays

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The Real Thing (Donmar Warehouse, London)

Tom Stoppard's witty, thoughtful disquisition on love looks even better now than in 1982, helped by an immensely attractive and subtle performance from Stephen Dillane. To 7 Aug

Holy Mothers (New Ambassadors Theatre, London)

Blocked lavatories and a last-minute beheading are on the menu in this extravaganza of bad taste (right) by Werner Schwab, Austria's answer to Joe Orton. To 3 Jul

Money (Olivier Theatre, London)

The courtship scene between Roger Allam's misery-guts and Patricia Hodges' witty aristo is not just the funniest stretch of this fine revival of Bulwer-Lytton's Victorian comedy; it's the most amusing thing on the London stage. To 15 Sept

Volpone (Swan Theatre, Stratford)

Comedies don't come funnier or more astringent than Ben Jonson's dissection of avaricious egotism. To 9 Oct

Oroonoko (The Other Place, Stratford)

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