Theatre: The Five Best Plays In London

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The Independent Culture
1

The Invention of Love Theatre Royal, Haymarket

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

2

Love Upon the Throne

Comedy Theatre

The Charles and Diana story (well, up to the divorce) presented by the National Theatre of Brent (all two of them). Very funny and oddly touching.

3

Copenhagen

Cottesloe

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

4

Angela Carter Cinderella, Lyric, Hammersmith

The finest mice on the West End stage and heaps more besides.

5

Arabian Nights, Young Vic

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

... AND BEYOND

Martin Guerre

RSC, Cardiff New Theatre

It's third time lucky for this much rewritten Boublil/Schonberg musical. In Conall Morrison's starkly involving production, it finally emerges as a tighter, magnificent show. See review, right

2

Hindle Wakes,

Royal Exchange, Manchester

Spectacularly refurbished after the 996 bombing, this theatre bounces back in fine resilient form with the excellent production that had to be aborted then.

3

The Boy Who Fell Into a Book, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Typically witty and ingenious concept from Alan Ayckbourn - here wearing his children's dramatist hat.

4

Singin' in the Rain, Leicester Haymarket

In Leicester, they are dreaming of a wet - but musical - Christmas with this Paul Kerryson staging of the terrific MGM musical.

5

A Month in the Country Swan Theatre, Stratford

Michael Attenborough's new production of Turgenev's tender tale of love and affection.

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