Our Lady of Sligo, Oxford Playhouse (01865-798600)

You lucky people living in Oxford have the next week and a half to steal a march on London folk. Tonight sees the world premiere of the new play by Sebastian Barry. The media world will descend upon it when it moves to the National Theatre, but see it here first and you can dine out on it for a fortnight. The production is in the hands of Max Stafford-Clark and new-writing specialists Out of Joint, the team behind Barrys international smash hit The Steward of Christendom. Donal McCann gave a wonderfully resonant performance in the central role, but the wordiness of the play left me wondering why everyone else from here to New York and beyond found it was such a dramatic piece. However, I was in a very, very small minority and even naysayers like me are champing at the bit at the prospect of an evening with the likes of Out of Joint regular Nigel Terry and the superb Catherine and Sinead Cusack (above).