Imagine a cross between Glengarry Glen Ross and The Birthday Party and you're close to Simon's Block's uncomfortably funny play. After an implausible start, the noose tightens to a terrific finish and the cast are excellent, especially Nicholas Woodeson, who makes you believe you're watching Death of a Salesman with far more laughs.
Hampstead Theatre, London NW3 (0171-722 9301)
Conor McPherson's ghostly night in an Irish country pub is a triumph of interleaved stories, perfectly paced and beautifully acted with Brendan Coyle outstanding.
Royal Court at the Ambassadors, London WC2 (0171-565 5000)
The Wood Demon
Love, lust and laziness whipped up into high farce in Anthony Clark's marvellous production of this early Chekhov comedy. More like Woody Allen's A Midsummer Night's Sex Comedy than Uncle Vanya, which Chekhov later turned it into.
The Playhouse, London WC2 (0171-839 4401)
Waiting for Godot
At last, a production which plays the humour of Beckett's great play without the actors ingratiating themselves. Alan Howard and Ben Kingsley make a truly tragicomic pair, Dennis Quilley and Greg Hicks are outstanding and the experience is truly moving.
In rep, The Old Vic, London SE1 (0171-928 7616)
Does theatre matter? Is love enough? David Hare's play is slightly less than the sum of its heartfelt parts but the problems fall away in the incandescent light of Judi Dench's heartbreaking, astonishingly sincere performance. In rep, National Theatre, London SE1 (0171-928 2252)
Unbridled lust and an inflated bust in Alan Bennett's magnificent farce. Laughs and dialogue to die for in a doctor's dilemma.
Theatre Royal, York (01904 623568)
David BenedictReuse content