THEATRE: THE FIVE BEST PLAYS IN LONDON

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The Independent Culture
1

Merchant of Venice (Cottesloe, National)

With the magnificent Henry Goodman as Shylock, Trevor Nunn's 920s- style production finds a rich complexity in a play too often simplified on the stage. Truly great directing. To Sept

2

Floyd Collins (Bridewell Theatre)

Although this piece of musical theatre is about a man trapped underground, it represents a giant leap forward for musical theatre. The slightly dodgy production has knock-out performances from Nigel Richards and Craig Purnell. See review, left. To 3 July

3

The Real Thing (Donmar Warehouse)

Tom Stoppard's witty, thoughtful disquisition on love looks even better now than it did in 982, helped by an immensely attractive and subtle performance from Stephen Dillane. To 7 Aug

4

Look Back in Anger (Lyttelton, National)

Five tremdendously alert performances make this revival of Osborne's iconic play completely rivetting. A production of enormous subtlety and power. This will win awards. See review, left. To Sept

5

The Backroom (The Bush)

A quite ridiculously funny farce set in a gay male brothel. Jonathan Lloyd's tremendous cast find every possible laugh in Adrian Pagan's script (his first) which has one-liners a go-go. See review, left. To 3 Sept

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