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The Independent Culture
"Glenn Close? That's not an actress, it's an address." Thus - allegedly - spake Maggie Smith. The same game could be played with Lee Hall, but rather than being a location, the man is a playwright. And a staggeringly successful one, since you ask.

Eighteen months ago he made Brecht funny - and popular - with his version of Mr Puntila and his Man Matti, and this summer he stormed Edinburgh with Cooking with Elvis, a Newcastle tale of food, stepfathers and daughters, and rock'n'roll impersonation. Since then he has become writer-in-residence at the RSC, where his adaption of Goldoni's glorious farce, The Servant of Two Masters, will open next week.

Ahead of that, though, we have his stage adaptation of Spoonface Steinberg, his radio drama which so affected listeners that they jammed the BBC switchboard demanding a repeat. With the title role in the hands of the redoubtable Kathryn Hunter (above), it should be quite something.

Spoonface Steinberg, Sheffield Crucible (0114-249 6000) to 18 Dec

David Benedict