THEATRE: CURTAIN CALLS

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THREE BY PINTER

Only one week left to see the spellbinding Penelope Wilton as a woman who wakes up after sleeping for 29 years in Pinter's quiet masterpiece A Kind of Alaska. Childhood happiness floods across her face and her every thought echoes around the auditorium. There's more superb acting in the double-bill of early plays that follows, with Pinter himself as the possessive lover of excellent Colin McFarlane in The Collection, while Douglas Hodge is outstanding opposite Lia Williams in the erotic double-act, The Lover.

Donmar Warehouse, WC2 (0171-369 1732)

THE SHOEMAKER'S WONDROUS WIFE/DON PERLIMPLIN

This lovingly presented double bill of little-known Lorca, newly translated by John Edmunds, provides both a fascinating insight into the maturing of Lorca's prodigious talent and an evening's vivid entertainment played with an uncharacteristic lack of British reserve. Closes tomorrow.

BAC, SW11 (0171-223 2223)

CLEANSED

Set in a fascist institution designed to rid society of its undesirables, Sarah Kane's already notorious new play examines the resistance of love to extreme violence. James Macdonald's stylised production is a miracle of restraint but is still harrowing. A resounding proof of the power of theatre. Not for the nervous.

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

THE LONDON CUCKOLDS

Ludicrously enjoyable, good old-fashioned filth. Caroline Quentin and a terrific cast fill the theatre with high spirits and low morals. They have a rollicking good time romping through this bawdy Restoration comedy and so will you. Carry On Cuckolding.

National Theatre, SE1 (0171-452 3000)

OTHELLO

Great productions of this play remind you that Shakespeare really did know how to pace a damn good thriller. Sam Mendes's suitably sweaty production doesn't quite erase the memory of Trevor Nunn's edge-of-your-seat thrill- ride, but the tension between threatening David Harewood and Simon Russell Beale's overwhelming Iago are worth the price of admission alone.

National Theatre, London SE1 (0171-452 3000)

THE BETRAYAL OF NORA BLAKE

Double Indemnity meets The House of Elliott and heaps more besides. Sheer heaven. (See page 40)

Jermyn Street Theatre, SW1 (0171-287 2875)

David Benedict

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