Theatre reviews

Bored senseless by the election? Escape to Andy de la Tour's vengeful, disgracefully enjoyable vision of New Labour in power, cunningly disguised as an old-fashioned drawing-room drama. Christopher Ravenscroft is a marvellously serpentine Tory and Deborah Norton steals the show as his nostril-flaring wife.

Birmingham Rep (0121-236 4455)

The Caucasian Chalk Circle

The Olivier Theatre (at the National) has been completely transformed for this new production of Brecht's journey through justice and judgement. Simon McBurney, leading light of Theatre de Complicite, directs and plays the judge and the company also includes Juliet Stevenson.

National Theatre, London SE1 (0171-928 2252)

Little Eyolf

The startling Joanne Pearce is simply astonishing, letting you see that the person she is glaring at most is herself, in Ibsen's dark-toned drama of sex and death in a production of stunning persuasiveness by Adrian Noble.

RSC, The Swan, Stratford (01789-295623)

East is East

The unassailable Linda Bassett leads a terrific cast in Ayub Khan-Din's boisterous, smash-hit comedy about mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, arranged marriages and evenings spent escaping down the chip shop.

Royal Court at the Duke of Yorks, London WC2 (0171-565 5000)


Murdering twosome Patrick O'Kane and Dena Davis make Bonnie and Clyde seem like a Scottish holiday resort in Ben Elton's punchy, passionate satire on Hollywood movie violence. Fast, funny and furious with more to chew on than the title.

Apollo Theatre, London W1 (0171-494 5070)

Cloud Nine

Tim "Blackadder" McInnerney plays a colonial husband whose upper lip could not be stiffer, and then scrambles around as Cathy, a loudmouthed

five-year old, in Caryl Churchill's hilarious and ultimately moving comedy of sexual politics. The standout production in the strong Old Vic repertory season.

The Old Vic, London SE1 (0171-928 7616)