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The Independent Culture

Festen (Lyric Shaftesbury Avenue)

A much-deserved, partially recast West End transfer for this beautifully adapted and impeccably directed stage version of the Dogme film, in which a bourgeois patriarch is denounced at his 60th-birthday festivities. To 9 Apr


The History Boys (NT: Lyttleton)

Alan Bennett's most exhilarating play for quite some time is set in a Yorkshire boys' grammar school during the mid-980s, and dramatises the onset of a battle over education that is still being fought today. Richard Griffiths stars. To 26 Apr


Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre)

Like the mischievous wind that sweeps aside the other nannies in the original movie, this stage adaptation simply blows away the opposition from rival West End musicals with its magic, heart and chutzpah. To 24 Sept


Ta Main Dans La Mienne (Pit, Barbican)

Peter Brook presents this beautiful evocation of the relationship between Chekhov and his actress wife, Olga Knipper. Michel Piccoli and Natasha Parry bestow a lovely graciousness on the proceedings. To 2 Feb


Macbeth (Wilton's Music Hall)

Max Stafford-Clark's scary production relocates the tragedy to the bloody turmoil of contemporary Africa, giving you an unnervingly immediate sense of the violence in the play. Ends today