THEATRE: THE FIVE BEST PLAYS IN LONDON

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The Independent Culture
1

Copenhagen Cottesloe

Michael Frayn's profound and haunting meditation on science, morality and the mysteries of human motivation.

2

The Invention of Love Theatre Royal, Haymarket

Tom Stoppard's witty, heart-breaking fantasia on the twin passions of AE Housman: scholarship and an unavailable heterosexual friend.

3

Arabian Nights Young Vic

Another rich Young Vic Christmas feast attaches jump-leads to the avid audience's imagination.

4

The Tempest Barbican Theatre

David Calder is a magnificently querulous and authoritative Prospero in Adrian Noble's imaginative RSC staging.

5

Kafka's Dick Piccadilly Theatre

Spiriting Kafka to suburban England, this uproarious romp by Alan Bennett survives some peculiar casting in Peter Hall's revival.

... AND BEYOND

The Winter's Tale RSC, Stratford

Amazingly rich and complex performance from Antony Sher in Gregory Doran's Romanov-style production. See review, right.

2

Martin Guerre RSC, Cardiff New Theatre

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

3

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.

4

Just Not Fair Birmingham Rep

Moving account by Jim Robinson of 8 years' wrongful imprisonment of the Bridgewater Four. Will be performed in rep with Wilde's equivalent prison testament, De Profundis.

5

Martin Yesterday Royal Exchange Manchester

Marianne Elliott directs this sharp new play from cult Canadian dramatist Brad Unidentified Human Remains Fraser.

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