Theatre: The Five Best plays in London... and Beyond

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The Independent Culture

Copenhagen Duchess Theatre

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


Oklahoma! Lyceum Theatre

Widely regarded as the best ever, Trevor Nunn's glorious production of the Rogers and Hammerstein classic fully deserves its West End transfer. To 26 Jun


Toast Royal Court at The Ambassador's

So you thought the comic fascination of a mass-production bakery in 970s Hull was somewhat limited? Richard Bean's delightfully funny play proves you wrong. See review, left. To 6 Mar


Vassa Albery Theatre

Sheila Hancock stars as the tight-fisted matriarch in Howard Davies's exuberantly acted revival of Gorky's comedy of family fortunes. To 27 Mar


Howie the Rookie Bush Theatre

Scabrously comic monologues written by Mark O'Rowe, the twentysomething Damon Runyon of grungy, violent Dublin lowlife. Superb performances. To 3 Mar

The Winter's Tale RSC, Stratford

An amazingly rich and complex performance from Antony Sher in Gregory Doran's Romanov-style production. To 4 Mar


Making Noise Quietly Dancehouse Theatre, Manchester

Lovely poetic revival by Deborah Bruce of Robert Holman's heart- twisting, elliptical triptych about the effects of war. Ends tonight


The Weir Warwick Arts Centre

Ghost stories, recounted in an Irish pub, give way to genuine horror in Conor McPherson's humane masterpiece. A subtle, loving production by Ian Rickson. Ends tonight


The Tempest West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds

Ian McKellen gives a low-key performance as a Prospero who presides over an island reimagined as a correctional facility. See review, left. Ends tonight


Hushabye Mountain On Tour

Dying of Aids and living with Aids: Jonathan Harvey's witty, sad and uneven new play looks at the disease in two eras. Wilde Theatre, Bracknell, tonight; Gardiner Arts Centre, Brighton 3-6 Mar