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Spring is here / Why doesn't the breeze delight me? / Stars appear / Why doesn't the night invite me? OK, so this quote from a Lorenz Hart lyric is a touch premature, but the sentiment is appropriate. Some stars will be appearing this year, notably Rufus Sewell (above) in Macbeth. Two years ago you couldn't move for what might have been termed "a shiver of Macbeths", as endless actors took on what Mary McCarthy described as the only Shakespearean hero who corresponds to a bourgeois type (he makes his entrance discussing the weather, if you please).

Theatrical superstitions aside - consider the curse of Peter O'Toole's famously dreadful performance - Macbeth has always attracted big names. But before making it big on screen, Sewell stole the notices in his earlier stage appearances.

Elsewhere, it's slim pickings for theatrical stargazers. That's no bad thing in my book. Last year, you couldn't move for film actors slumming it on stage, but the hype tended to dwarf their productions, not to mention having the accidental knock-on effect of downgrading work by less newsworthy but no less talented companies.

Perhaps theatre-goers are in for a treat this season, discovering hidden delights rather than being pre-sold celebrity and sure-fire sensationalism.

`Macbeth', Queens Theatre, London W1 (0171-494 5040)from 3 Mar

David Benedict