The last time that Cheek by Jowl took on a Shakespeare comedy, they came up with a stunning, all-male As You Like It. Much Ado is a play of usually overlooked depths as well as the expected comic highs. This is the company's temporary swansong, so don't even think about missing it.
Playhouse Theatre, WC2 (0171-839 4401)
TWELFTH NIGHT &
AS I LAY DYING
Shakespeare's Illyria takes on an Indian hue in Tim Supple's marvellous production. This is real ensemble acting, but Thusita Jayasundera's Viola and Robert Bowman's gloriously unctuous Malvolio are tremendous. The company alternates performances with an adaptation of William Faulkner's beautiful novel As I Lay Dying. Recommended.
Young Vic, SE1 (0171-928 6363)
THE DOCTOR'S DILEMMA
Shaw's still topical quack satire hinges on the agonising of Sir Colenso Ridgeon, a TB specialist forced to choose between saving the life of a
dull but worthy physician or that of a dissolute young artist. This slick revival by Michael Grandage has a fine cast which beefs up one of Shaw's more fragile works and pulls it through with style.
Almeida, N1 (0171-359 4404)
Enda Walsh's exuberantly performed tale of a pair of teenagers out on the razzle in Pork City - fictional twin to Walsh's native Cork - is beguiling. Pig (Cillian Murphy) and Runt (Eileen Walsh) communicate in an oinky baby talk and dream of a Tamworth Two-style escape from the deadly adult world that awaits them. Sizzling stuff.
Arts Theatre, WC2
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
After an acclaimed run last summer, Rachel Kavanaugh's Dream returns in time for solstice celebrations. Shakespeare's comedy seems custom- built for the space, operating in a sort of dramatic twilight. Ian Talbot collects the laurels once again, though, for his splendiferous Bottom.
Open Air Theatre, NW1
Thanks to the recent upheavals in Indonesia, this dramatically powerful debate about the morality of the arms trade comes up as crucial as Newsnight, but with better costumes. There's also Peter Hall's fine supporting cast, especially Anna Carteret and David Yelland.
Piccadilly Theatre, W1
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