Choice: Theatre

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Cause Celebre, Lyric Hammersmith, London W6 (0181-741 2311)

All too often plays are revived for entirely fashionable reasons. With the exception of the Almeida's outstandingly moving production of The Deep Blue Sea and Greenwich Theatre's The Browning Version, most Terence Rattigan revivals have done more for those who (post-Look Back in Anger) railed against his middle-class concerns, than for the reputation of the playwright himself. However, Neil Bartlett's immaculate production of Cause Celebre has nothing to do with jumping on a bandwagon and everything to do with engrossing, lucid, beautifully deft theatrical intelligence. It is one of those rare productions which quietly and subtly makes you understand a play's governing ideas without ever thrusting them down your throat. In 1977, this flop was considered a creaky, windy and dated courtroom drama about a sex-scandal. Bartlett and his truly excellent cast rediscover it as a tremendous and powerfully bitter study of the horrors of middle-class morality and sexual double standards. David Benedict

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