Curtain Calls: Threatre reviews

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Indy Lifestyle Online

The word "seminal" could have been invented to describe Beckett's wildly influential tragicomedy about killing time. Having directed the premiere in the 1950s, Peter Hall begins a new season with his Old Vic production and under his watchful gaze, the play bursts into strange, comic, and shockingly tender life.

Piccadilly, W1 (0171-369 1734)


In addition to featuring the best covered wagons on the London stage, this rip-snortingly silly show is everything you would expect from a crazy, camp, cross-dressing cowboy musical, especially the instant classic: "Sing and dance/For no particular reason". Cancel everything and beat a path to the final two performances tonight and tomorrow. (And then campaign for its return.)

Rosemary Branch, N1 (0171-704 6665)


Conor McPherson's award-strewn, beautifully told tale of tall stories in a country pub is exquisitely played, unfashionably gentle, quietly compelling and very moving.

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


Sex, desire, death and hypocrisy: Neil Bartlett dusts down Terence Rattigan's final flop and rediscovers it as a stunning study of double-standards. Many Rattigan revivals only remind you why the angry young men sneered at him but Bartlett's lucid, sharply directed and movingly acted production is simply superb.

Lyric Hammersmith, London W6 (0181-741 2311)


Jason Carr's gorgeous, smoky, Fifties jazz score sets the tone for Steven Pimlott's dreamy, superbly convincing RSC production of Tennessee Williams's neglected fantasy about love, hope and fate. The loose narrative sprawls but the evening gradually coheres and grips thanks to Yolande Sonnabend's designs and Peter Mumford's incredibly evocative lighting. A bold Darrell D'Silva heads an excellent cast including Susannah York, Peter Egan and Leslie Phillips. Paola Dionisotti steals the show as a deliciously funny gypsy fortune-teller.

Young Vic, SE1 (0171-928 6363)


These guys really know their surrealist onions. Think Alice in Wonderland with hair extensions and you're still nowhere near Forkbeard Fantasy's truly extraordinary collision between theatre and film. A mad and maddening show by turns, absurdly funny and peculiarly haunting. Closes tonight.

Lyric Studio, W6 (0181-741 2311)