Theatre: Curtain Calls

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Indy Lifestyle Online

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)


Love at the ironing board and all-singing, all-dancing fried eggs, just two inspired moments from the tap-happy gay clowns Bloolips, purveyors of Lust in Space, Slungback and Strapless and Get Hur! The glorious Bette Bourne and the unguarded power of Precious Pearl command attendance, particularly with Nicolas Bloomfield at the piano for their greatest hits.

Drill Hall, WC1 (0171-637 8270)


Juliette Binoche brings an other-worldliness to the role of a desperate woman who crashes into the life of a novelist, superbly played by Oliver Ford Davies. Jonathan Kent's production plays to a high emotional pitch with true passion turning what could have been a cerebral evening into something peculiarly compelling. Day seats and returns only.

Almeida, N1 (0171-359 4404)


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.

Aldwych, WC2 (0171-416 6003)


Forkbeard Fantasy more than live up to their superb titles. After selling out with the gorgeously named The Fall of the House of the Usherettes, the wild and wacky brothers are back with more mad Purple Rose of Cairo- esque stage'n'screen shenanigans.

Lyric Studio, W6 (0181-741 2311)


Conor McPherson's award-strewn, beautifully told tale of tall stories in a country pub. A welcome transfer for Ian Rickson's gentle, quietly compelling production.

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


Unseen at the time of writing, but the idea of a "camp, cross-dressing cowboy musical" is zany enough to be worth a look. Could bring a whole new meaning to the term "fringe theatre".

Rosemary Branch, N1 (0171-704 6665)