There is more raw talent on display in this musical than in the rest of the West End put together. No, it doesn't quite come off, and the book and direction are often too superficial, but the rock-ish score has real drive, and the lyrics and performances are a complete knockout.
Donmar Warehouse, London WC2 (0171-369 1732)
The Cherry Orchard
Janet Suzman takes Chekhov's masterpiece about the decline of the old order and the rise of the new and relocates it to contemporary South Africa to subtle and powerful effect. A co-production with the Market Theatre, Johannesburg.
Birmingham Rep (0121-236 4455)
Sex on the Internet doesn't come any funnier than in Patrick Marber's powerfully assured, brutal and razor-sharp comedy. Ignore the life and death symbolism and revel in the engrossing subtext. This is men behaving extremely badly. Not for the faint-hearted.
In rep, National Theatre, London SE1 (0171-928 2252)
A Midsummer Night's Dream
For once, an invigorating production that lives up to the wonders of the verdant setting, with boisterous lovers, big laughs and a particularly mischievous Puck from John Padden.
Open Air Theatre, Regents Park, London NW1 (0171-486 2431)
The Herbal Bed
From love story to knife-edge courtroom drama in Peter Whelan's RSC hit based on the 17th-century sex scandal involving Shakespeare's daughter. Stephen Boxer is outstanding as a cleric with a dangerous lust for truth.
Duchess Theatre, London WC2 (0171-494 5075)
Fat Janet is Dead
Jessica Dromgoole's dead funny cast show impeccable timing in Simon Smith's blackly entertaining new play, stuffed full of the kind of bad-taste comic writing that would never make it to television. Take hankies - you may cry with laughter
Warehouse Theatre, Croydon (0181-681 1257)Reuse content