The Independent Recommends: The Five Best Plays

The Five Best Plays

Antigone (Old Vic, London)

Sophocles' great tragedy gets a superbly trenchant and objective staging from Declan Donnellan, and a performance of enormous complexity from Jonathan Hyde. To 18 Dec

Marathon (Gate Theatre, London)

Edoardo Erba's very funny play, about two young men in training for the New York marathon, resonates powerfully on both the realistic and metaphoric levels. A well- judged production by Mick Gordon. To 11 Dec

Spend, Spend, Spend (Piccadilly Theatre, London)

This utterly irresistible new musical (right) captures the tough, impudent survivor spirit of Viv Nicholson, the woman who won, and blew, a Pools fortune. To 26 Feb

Macbeth (Swan Theatre, Stratford)

Greg Doran's production of this notoriously difficult tragedy is the best since the classic Trevor Nunn version. Harriet Walter is a marvellously complex Lady Macbeth. In rep to 18 Mar

Singin' in the Rain (West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds)

This glorious MGM musical takes to the stage in a new production by Jude Kelly. To 5 Feb

David Benedict and Paul Taylor