Theatre: Certain Young Men

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Last year, the Almeida made its mark with a string of star-lead productions. Its first offerings of 1999, however, are potent reminders of its commitment to challenging work, first and foremost. There's not a single Hollywood celebrity appearing in Peter Gill's new play, Certain Young Men, unless you count Jeremy Northam (right) - who played Knightley to Gwyneth Paltrow's Emma. Gill, who has been busy directing both this and Gorky's Vassa at the Albery, has picked a strong cast of homegrown talent for his comedy of manners about eight unmarried men living in London now. Anyone who doubts the wisdom of a writer directing his own material should look at Gill's track-record: his self-directed Cardiff East was a huge hit at the National two years ago.

Almeida Theatre, London N1 (0171-359 4404) now previewing, opens Wed

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