People dismiss the plays of Noel Coward (above), probably because they are often directed so badly. It's not just a question of posing in period costume, waving cigarette holders and spitting witty remarks. His best writing looks sublimely effortless, but it takes time and trouble to bring off. For the full, glorious effect, try this splendid production. Polly Adams leads a tremendous cast as the retired actress whose bohemian family shocks a group of strait-laced guests. Patricia Kane as the formidable maid nearly steals the show, but director Gareth Armstrong's hugely enjoyable production barely puts a foot wrong.
Hay Fever, Salisbury Playhouse (01722 320333)