THEATRE: THE FIVE BEST PLAYS IN LONDON

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The Independent Culture
1

Troilus and Cressida Olivier Theatre

This theatre and this Shakespeare play are made for each other, a fact proved, somewhat belatedly, by the masterly sweep of Trevor Nunn's gifted production. See review, right. To 9 May

2

Gross Indecency Gielgud Theatre

The artfully fractured form of Moises Kaufman's compelling play about Oscar Wilde - courtroom drama invaded by flashbacks, glimpses of the future and intelligent cultural analysis - manages to present the writer - man and symbol - in all his complex contradictoriness. Booking to 5 Jun

3

Trust Royal Court at the Ambassadors

It's not Protestants vs Catholics, but Protestants at violent odds with one another in Gary Mitchell's timely and involving Ulster thriller. To 3 Apr

4

Copenhagen Duchess Theatre

Michael Frayn's profound and haunting meditation on science, morality and the mysteries of human motivation. To 7 Aug

5

Oklahoma! The Lyceum

Forget the corn - it's your spirits that are as high as an elephant's eye in this unbeatable National Theatre staging of the musical classic. To 26 Jun

... AND BEYOND

The Dispute Theatre Royal, Brighton

Neil Bartlett's devilishly good production of Marivaux's diabolically clever tragicomedy. To 3 Apr

2

Volpone Swan Theatre, Stratford

Comedies don't come any funnier or more astringent than Ben Jonson's brilliant dissection of avaricious, over-reaching egotism. Lindsay Posner directs lanky comic genius Guy Henry as the treacherous parasite. To 9 Oct

3

The Weir Festival Theatre, Malvern

Subtly put-together ghost stories pack a surprising punch in Conor McPherson's marvellously unfashionable, gentle play. To 3 Apr

4

The Late Middle Classes Palace Theatre, Watford

The long, fruitful and richly entertaining collaboration between Simon Gray and Harold Pinter continues with the latter's production of Gray's latest dark comedy, set in Fifties England. To 0 Apr

5

Buried Alive Northcott, Exeter

Great champions of the under-rated Philip Osment, Method and Madness company stage his latest play about a photographer who captures a horrifying execution on film. Ends tonight

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