The Opium Eaters, Young Vic Studio, London SE1 (0171-928 6363)

Thomas de Quincey's famous Confessions of an Opium Eater of 1822 has been called many things, but a comedy is not one of them. Mind you, that was before the bittersweet, Anglo-Swiss, all-female trio Brouhaha got their hands on it. Madame Vaughn (any relation to Robert Vaughn of The Man from Uncle fame, we wonder?) sits in a house of ill-repute with her two cronies, surrounded by memories of a decayed past. Following the success of Light at Night, they are once again directed by Paul Hunter, best known as the artistic director of the melancholic, ridiculously funny Told by an Idiot, to wreak comic havoc in which De Quincey meets Sergio Leone's Once Upon a Time in America. David Benedict