Theatre reviews

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The Witches of Eastwick Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, WC2 (020-7494 5000) John Dempsey's quick-witted, sharp-tongued book and lyrics, married to Dana Rowe's well-integrated songs, create a good old-fashioned musical comedy. Hell, there's even a full-blown opening number, as if Damn Yankees had just mated with The Music Man. Rowe's music shines, particularly in the trios where the three knockout witches dream. Ian McShane is a terrifically devil-may-care devil, with a touch of the East End, and designer Bob Crowley provides more neon than you could shake a forked stick at in this handsomely mounted show. Edward Seckerson

The Witches of Eastwick Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, WC2 (020-7494 5000) John Dempsey's quick-witted, sharp-tongued book and lyrics, married to Dana Rowe's well-integrated songs, create a good old-fashioned musical comedy. Hell, there's even a full-blown opening number, as if Damn Yankees had just mated with The Music Man. Rowe's music shines, particularly in the trios where the three knockout witches dream. Ian McShane is a terrifically devil-may-care devil, with a touch of the East End, and designer Bob Crowley provides more neon than you could shake a forked stick at in this handsomely mounted show. Edward Seckerson

All's Well That Ends Well BAC, London SW11(020-7223 2223) All's Well is an uneasy comedy with few characters, little in the way of sub-plot and few opportunities for spectacle. It reveals a fascination with memory and its relation to truth but, in truth, this production would be easy to forget. Minimalist design is a mistake in a play such as this, which needs dressing up, and Simon Godwin's peculiarly listless direction drains the first half of humour, snappiness and panache. However, Joel Chalfen is a gem as both Lafew and Lavatch, and Georgina Roberts is an impressive Countess. Zoe Green

Top Girls BAC, London SW11(020-7223 2223) Caryl Churchill's play pressed endless Zeitgeist buttons in 1982. In this accomplished revival, James Menzies-Kitchin award-winner, Thea Sharrock, reminds us of the debates, drawing strong performances from her eight-strong cast, who vividly play the opening scene - the historical dinner-party with time-travelling women from history - before moving into a parallel life in the Eighties. "Ballbreaker" Marlene finally confronts the reality of women's achievements in the explosive confrontation with her beleaguered, proud sister (Sophie Stanton). Absorbing stuff. Brian Logan

Circus Oz Sadler's Wells, London EC1(020-7863 8000) Kareena Oates is like a planetary system gone mad. She can keep hula-hoops spinning even when they are set on fire. Circus Oz sends up its own artistry in a way that never smacks of false modesty, and the show is full of little dramas. Surprises include the male high-wire performer, dressed in a black tutu, dashing between two whip-cracking dominatrixes; a man showering and getting dressed, while simultaneously juggling, and an aerial stunt involving two women, a bag of laundry and some comically intimate clutching. Breathtaking. Paul Taylor

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