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. To 24 Apr

Love Upon the Throne Comedy Theatre

The Charles and Diana story (well, up to the divorce) presented by the National Theatre of Brent (all two of them). Very funny and oddly touching. To 31 Jan

Angela Carter Cinderella Lyric Hammersmith

A feast of inspired silliness and visual magic from Neil Bartlett and Improbable Theatre. To 9 Jan

Arabian Nights Young Vic

A ravishingly costumed magic carpet ride in the Young Vic's incomparable tradition of Christmas shows.

To 23 Jan

Kafka's Dick Piccadilly Theatre

Spiriting Kafka to suburban England, this hilarious romp by Alan Bennett (above) survives some peculiar casting in Peter Hall's revival. To 27 Feb

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