Theatre: THE FIVE BEST PLAYS IN LONDON...AND BEYOND

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The Independent Culture
1

Phedre, Albery

Diana Rigg and director Jonathan Kent continue their formidable partnership in this new Ted Hughes version of Racine's incomparable tragedy.

2

Via Dolorosa, Royal Court, Duke of York's

David Hare makes his acting debut with this passionate, witty and highly thought-provoking meditation on his recent trip to Israel and Palestine.

3

Crave, Royal Court

The play that has convinced even hardened sceptics that Sarah "Blasted" Kane can write subtly as well as shockingly, while still tackling provocative subjects.

4

Love Upon the Throne, Bush

The Charles and Di story (well, up to the divorce) performed by two men in suits in this very funny and oddly touching piece by the National Theatre of Brent.

5

Loot, Vaudeville

Joe Orton's farce, involving a coffin, a corpse, bent cops and stolen lolly, is taken at a spirited lick in David Grindley's entertaining revival. Tracy-Ann Oberman is hilarious as the Catholic nurse.

... AND BEYOND

Popcorn, Orchard Theatre, Dartford

Ben Elton's rightly acclaimed West End comedy thriller about movie violence and victim culture starts its long-awaited UK tour.

2

Hamlet,

Birmingham Repertory Theatre

Bill Alexander, who directed the controversial Mark Rylance Hamlet, now takes a second look at Shakespeare's inexhaustible play.

3

Samson Agonistes,

Viaduct, Halifax

Northern Broadsides pull off a coup in staging John Milton's rarely performed tragedy with the hero who literally brings the house down.

4

Dead Funny,

Palace Theatre, Watford

Caroline "Men Behaving Badly" Quentin turns director for this welcome revival of Terry Johnson's dead funny Dead Funny.

5

The Rink, Leicester Haymarket

Get your skates out for this Kander and Ebb show directed by Paul Kerryson, who has made the Haymarket the regional Mecca for musicals.

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