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

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The Independent Culture
1

Copenhagen Duchess Theatre

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

2

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

3

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

4

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

5

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

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