The Sunday Preview: The five best plays

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The Independent Culture
Arcadia (Lyttelton, 071-928 2252). Tom Stoppard returns to dazzling form in this high comedy of pure maths and country-house fornication.

King Lear (Royal Shakespeare, Stratford, 0789 295623, to Jan 1994). Adrian Noble's cosmic-scale production, incomparably led by Robert Stephens.

City of Angels (Prince of Wales, 071- 839 5972). Celluloid and film studio intrigue combine in Broadway's best- crafted musical since Guys and Dolls.

The Merry Wives (Sixth Form College, Barrow-in-Furness, 0229 820000, and touring). Northern Broadsides score again in Barrie Rutter's uproarious production. Irving Wardle

A Day in the Death of Joe Egg (King's Head, 071-226 1916, to 11 July). Long- overdue revival of Peter Nichols' painful comedy.

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