THEATRE: THE FIVE BEST PLAYS IN LONDON

1

Good Donmar Warehouse

Starring Charles Dance, CP Taylor's play about accommodations with conscience is revived in an immaculate and sensitive production by Michael Grandage. To 22 May

2

Making Noise Quietly Whitehall Theatre

Very welcome West End run for Deborah Bruce's lovely, poetic revival of Robert Holman's sensitive, eliptical triptych about the emotional effects of war. To 22 May

3

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. To 9 May

4

Mamma Mia! Prince Edward Theatre

Designed to bring out the Dancing Queen in the straightest soul, this silly, enjoyable compilation musical finds flagrant kitsch-in-time plot excuses for 27 Abba golden oldies. Booking to Sept

5

The Colonel Bird Gate Theatre

Timely comedy by Hristo Boytchev. A Bulgarian splinter group declares independence and tries to join Nato. The result: an exuberant satire on misplaced faith in Western institutions. To May

... AND BEYOND

Volpone Swan Theatre, Stratford

Comedies don't come funnier or more astringent than Ben Jonson's brilliant dissection of avaricious, over-reaching egotism. Comic genius Guy Henry is the treacherous parasite. To 9 Oct

2

Tales from Ovid Swan Theatre, Stratford

Ted Hughes's brilliant adaptation of the Metamorphoses get the Tim Supple treatment in a show that vividly demonstrates the inherent theatricality of these myths. To 7 Oct

3

A Midsummer Night's Dream Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford

In Michael Boyd's beguiling staging, Josette Simon's Amazonian Titania is sex-on-very-long-legs and could devour Tina Turner for breakfast. To 9 Oct

4

The White Devil Haymarket Theatre, Leicester

A dab hand at playing women with a past, Gabrielle Drake is the imperious "White Devil" in Webster's lurid Jacobean tragedy. To May

5

Perpetua The Door, Birmingham Repetory Theatre

Winner of the 996 Verity Bargate prize, Fraser Grace's play pits the laws of God against the laws of the land in a Florida set to combust. To 8 May

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