The Independent recommends: The five best plays

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The Invention of Love

Theatre Royal, Haymarket

Tom Stoppard's witty, heartbreaking fantasia on the twin passions of AE Housman: scholarship and an unavailable heterosexual friend.

Little Malcolm and His Struggle Against the Eunuchs Hampstead Theatre

Denis Lawson's superbly amusing cast are in no way eclipsed by screen-heartthrob Ewan McGregor, who brings complexity to the central role.

Kafka's Dick Piccadilly Theatre

Spiriting Kafka to suburban England, Alan Bennett's hilarious romp survives some peculiar casting in Peter Hall's revival.

The Seagull West Yorkshire Playhouse

Jude Kelly's new company, headed by Ian McKellen (right) and Claire Higgins, kicks off with this Chekhov classic in a tempting season that includes The Tempest.

Twelfth Night Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

Perfectly thought-through production by Michael Grandage evokes an Illyria where storms rage as much within as without.