Theatre... And beyond

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The Independent Culture

Martin Guerre RSC, Cardiff New Theatre

It's third time lucky for this much-rewritten Boublil/Schonberg musical. In Conall Morrison's starkly involving production, it finally emerges as a tighter, magnificent show. To 3 Feb


Hindle Wakes Royal Exchange, Manchester

Spectacularly refurbished after the 996 bombing, this theatre bounces back in fine resilient form with the excellent production that had to be aborted first time round. To 9 Jan


The Boy Who Fell Into a Book Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Typically witty and ingenious concept from Alan Ayckbourn, here wearing his children's dramatist hat. To 9 Jan


Present Laughter West Yorkshire Playhouse

Ian McKellen dons the Noel Coward dressing-gown and gives a scintillating high-energy performance in this enjoyable but unevenly cast production. To 22 Jan


A Month in the Country Swan Theatre, Stratford

Ireland's finest living dramatist, Brian Friel, adapts Turgenev's proto-Chekhovian comedy.

To 20 Feb