Surprises, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Although he had toyed with the idea before, Alan Ayckbourn did not feel ready to bring science fiction fully into his work until his 34th play. A quarter of a century later and now on his 76th play, Surprises, the writer is a well-established exponent of the form.

In pictures: The iPad Picasso

With their chunky, textured brush strokes, Roz Hall's artworks wouldn't be out of place hanging alongside some of the great Impressionists at one of the world's esteemed galleries.

The Syndicate, Minerva Theatre, Chichester
Henry IV Parts I and 2,

Hankering for just one more Mafia drama? For sure, you might think the movies and the small screen have done this genre to death – lock, stock and two-a-penny. Yet The Syndicate is an intriguing curiosity, written in 1960 by the continentally revered Eduardo de Filippo (of Napoli Milionaria! renown). Hitherto unstaged in the UK, it’s premiering at Chichester in a new version by Mike Poulton. Sean Mathias’s chamber production, moreover, stars Ian McKellen on top form as Don Antonio Barracano, a Neapolitan godfather with a twist.

The Syndicate, Minerva Theatre, Chichester

The title makes it sound like a sharp-suited business bonanza, possibly a Mafiosi Mad Men. In fact, this is a 1960 Neapolitan comedy of familial resentment and redemption with a great pairing of Sir Ian McKellen as a godfather with a guilty secret and Michael Pennington as his doctor.

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She Loves Me, Minerva Theatre, Chichester

She Loves Me dates from the same year – 1963 – as "She Loves You", but that's about it all it shares with the Beatles' hit song. This Broadway musical, a firm favourite with buffs of the genre, is set in a Hollywood notion of 1930s Budapest and boasts a tight, witty book by Joe Masteroff and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick that are full of those comic quirks and hypermetrical skids that are present in normal speech but get ironed out in show songs. Jerry Bock's delectably tuneful score is a tribute to an era (which was just about to vanish) when it was possible to be achingly romantic and killingly funny in the same number.