Theatre: Curtain Calls
Saturday 16 May 1998
Good old-fashioned filth and quite ludicrously enjoyable. Caroline Quentin is the most famous name, but the whole cast have a rollicking good time with this bawdy Restoration romp - and so will you. Carry on Cuckolding.
National Theatre, SE1 (0171-452 3000)
THE ICEMAN COMETH
Beg for returns or queue very early for day seats for Howard Davies's superlative production of Eugene O'Neill's bar-room drama. The 19-strong cast is virtually flawless, notably Clarke Peters, Mark Strong and Nicholas Day, while buoyant Kevin Spacey is simply electrifying. There are 101 reasons - from laboured symbolism to lumbering philosophising - why this shouldn't work, but Davies's cunningly non-naturalistic and frequently comic production is a theatrical wonder. After four-and- a-quarter hours both you and the cast emerge exhausted and utterly exhilarated.
Almeida, N1 (0171-359 4404)
Another terrific Howard Davies production, this time Bulgakov's tragi- comic portrait of Russia in the grip of post-Revolutionary mayhem. Alan Howard is on splendidly lugubrious comic form, there's a gambling scene as good as Dealer's Choice and the design will take your breath away - awards judges take note. It also features the best cockroach-racing on the London stage.
National Theatre, SE1 (0171-452 3000)
Set in a fascist institution designed to rid society of its undesirables, the new play by Sarah "Blasted" Kane examines the resistance of love to extreme violence. James Macdonald's stylised production is a miracle of restraint, but it is still utterly harrowing. Nevertheless, it proves the power of theatre. Not for the nervous.
Royal Court at the Duke of York's (0171-565 5000)
The mother of the American musical steams into town, directed by the great Hal Prince. The score is crammed with goodies and Susan Stroman proves yet again that she is a choreographer of genius. In New York it looked worthy and dead. Here, it positively glows.
Prince Edward Theatre, W1 (0171-4547 5400)
I have two words to say and they are Elaine and Stritch. Two performances only and you'll have to queue for a return but this combination of orchestral rarities and big theatre talent looks like a winner.
The Barbican, EC1 (0171-638 8891)
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