The Independent Recommends: The Five Best Plays

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The Invention of Love

Theatre Royal, Haymarket

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

Love Upon the Throne National Theatre of Brent

The Charles and Diana story (well, up to the divorce) presented by the NTB (all two of them). Very funny and oddly touching.

Kafka's Dick Piccadilly Theatre

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

Twelfth Night Crucible Theatre, Sheffield

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

Richard III RSC, Cardiff New Theatre

Charismatic Robert Lindsay (right) limps rings round the other characters in Elijah Moshinsky's gripping production of Shakespeare's play.