The Independent Recommends: The Five Best Plays

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Mnemonic (Riverside Studios, London)

An ice-preserved body forms the central image of Theatre de Complicite's imaginative meditation on memory and morality. Timely and unforgettable. To 8 Jan

The Oresteia (Cottesloe Theatre, London)

Katie Mitchell's haunting production, the premiere of Ted Hughes's brilliant translation, does his vision of the piece great justice. In rep, booking to 29 Jan

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

Sinbad (Watermill Theatre, Newbury)

This delightful family musical, presented by a charming company of actor- musicians, sends panto conventions up without a trace of cynicism. To 15 Jan