THEATRE: CURTAIN CALLS

NAKED

Casting Juliette Binoche is no gimmick: she brings an other-worldliness to the role of a desperate and desperately beautiful woman who tries to escape from men only to crash into the life of a novelist, superbly played by Oliver Ford Davies. Jonathan Kent's production plays to a high emotional (and often comic) pitch, with true passion turning what could have been a cerebral evening into something peculiarly compelling. Day seats and returns only.

Almeida Theatre, N1 (0171-359 4404)

THE BARBERS OF SURREAL

When the cast burst in and out of the screen in the half-film/half stage hit La Cubana at the Edinburgh Festival, all sorts of people who should have known better yelled: "There's never been anything like it!" Fiddlesticks! What about the uniquely funny Forkbeard Fantasy who have been larking about in their Purple (P)rose of Cairo way for years? After selling out with the gorgeously named The Fall of the House of Usherettes, the wild and wacky brothers are back.

From Mon, Lyric Studio, W6 (0181-741 2311)

THE WEIR

Conor McPherson's award-strewn, beautifully observed tale of tall stories told in a country pub. A welcome transfer for Ian Rickson's gently acted production which worked a treat first time around.

Royal Court at the Duke of York's, WC2 (0171-565 5000)

CAUSE CELEBRE

Sex, desire, death and hyprocisy: Neil Bartlett dusts down Terence Rattigan's final flop and reveals it as a winner. Too many Rattigan revivals only serve to remind you why the angry young men sneered at him, but Bartlett's lucid, sharply directed and superbly acted production is an outstanding exception.

Lyric Hammersmith, London W6 (0181-741 2311)

AMY'S VIEW

Judi Dench's performance is so astonishing and so unactor-ish that it was overlooked by the sensation-seeking Olivier panel. Shame on them. It is a privilege to see her in Richard Eyre's deeply felt production of David Hare's play. Go.

Aldwych Theatre, WC2 (0171-416 6003)

RICHARD III

Shakespeare's vicious villain relocated to a 1967 East End pub. The results are mixed, but Eddie Marsan's Richard blends malice and innocence to hypnotic effect. Closes tonight

Pleasance Theatre, N7 (0171-609 1800)

Comments