Theatre: The five best plays in London

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The Independent Culture
1

The Colour of Justice Victoria Palace

The quietly devastating testimony of those at the heart of the inquiry into the death of Stephen Lawrence. Essential viewing. Ends tonight

2

Shockheaded Peter Lyric Hammersmith

The deliciously sinister Struwwelpeter stories meet the macabre Tiger Lillies in a glorious, gorgeously gory, evening of music theatre. To 0 Apr

3

Blue Heart The Pleasance

Bracing comedy and a dark heart in Max Stafford-Clark's exemplary production of Caryl Churchill's profoundly playful double-bill. To 2 Mar

4

Vassa The Albery

Sheila Hancock as the tight-fisted matriarch leads a triumphant cast in Gorky's comedy. To 27 Mar

5

Oklahoma! The Lyceum

Susan Stroman's heart-racing choreography, Anthony Ward's eye- widening design, the cast's depth and subtlety... Oh, just go! To 26 Jun

... AND BEYOND

The Dispute The Other Place, Stratford

Neil Bartlett's devilishly good production of Marivaux's diabolically clever tragicomedy. See review, left. To 20 Mar

2

Peer Gynt Royal Exchange, Manchester

David Threlfall is magnificent in the title role of this fascinating labyrinth of an evening. Ends tonight

3

Buried Alive Northcott, Exeter

Mike Alfreds' crack company, Method and Madness, in a new play by Philip Osment, specialist in matters of the heart. To 27 Mar

4

Bluebeard touring

You'll believe a block of wood can be sexual in this charged, Angela Carter-esque puppet version of the classic myth. Call 07-226 787 for dates & venues

5

The Weir Oxford Playhouse

Subtly strung-together ghost stories pack a surprising punch in Conor McPherson's marvellously unfashionable, gentle play. To 20 Mar

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