Hollywood star Jude Law returns to stage

Hollywood star Jude Law is returning to the West End stage to play a sailor who falls in love with a prostitute.

King Lear, Donmar Warehouse, London

He is the most exacting and pernickety of actors, Derek Jacobi, which means that his long-awaited Lear will never open the floodgates. But it is most beautifully spoken and detailed. It's also terribly polite.

First Night: King Lear, Donmar Warehouse, London

Jacobi's Lear is too calm, not enough storm

Passion, Donmar Warehouse, London<br/>Krapp's Last Tape, Duchess Theatre, London

Sondheim uncovers the pitfalls of youth and beauty, while Gambon shows age has its perks

Passion, Donmar Warehouse, London

Passion is the show that divides even Sondheim devotees. There are die-hard admirers who find the score – which instead of songs offers a nagging network of motifs and internal echoes – in singularly short supply of the eponymous commodity. Its gothic story has been dismissed as simultaneously distasteful and incredible. But Jamie Lloyd's Donmar revival of this rebarbative 1994 musical makes a compelling case for its power to unsettle and affront.

The Prince of Homburg, Donmar Warehouse, London

Heinrich von Kleist's The Prince of Homburg (1811) is one of those deeply ambiguous works that can be co-opted by diametrically opposed political factions. It's said to have been a favourite of Hitler's and insofar as it dramatises the triumph of Prussian military discipline over individual impulse, you can see why the Nazis were keen to appropriate it. But it is also a lethal indictment of this nascent ideology. It may sound a queer objection to complain that Hitler could never have been hoodwinked into approving of this new version by Dennis Kelly. But in equipping the play with a radically different conclusion, this distorting adaptation robs the Kleist original of its subtlety, symmetry, and enigmatic equipoise.

Soldier's story is still hitting the target

The Donmar's production of a play about a battlefield mistake rings horribly true, says Iraq veteran Colonel Tim Collins

The Late Middle Classes, Donmar Warehouse, London

The late Harold Pinter, who first directed the late Simon Gray's The Late Middle Classes, found it to be a rich and beautifully wrought piece of work that was "deeply satisfying" to direct. I see what he means but I do not share his certainty.

A late flowering for a great Britten

When Billy Budd opens Glyndebourne's season tomorrow it will bring the curtain down on an old feud, says Lynne Walker

Polar Bears, Donmar Warehouse, London<br/>Andersen's English, Hampstead Theatre, London<br/>Beyond the Horizon/Spring Storm, NT Cottesloe

In Mark Haddon's first foray into theatre, a manic depressive slips into a decline and takes her saviour down with her

Polar Bears, Donmar Warehouse, London

Mark Haddon made his name with The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, a novel about the break-up of a marriage as seen through the eyes of a teenager with Asperger's syndrome. When I heard that he had written Polar Bears, a play about the stresses of loving a female with a bipolar disorder, my first cynical reaction was to wonder whether he has started to collect disorders for creative exploitation across the art forms.

First Night: Polar Bears, Donmar Warehouse, London

Prize-winning author Mark Haddon's first stage play is about the difficulty of living with someone who has bipolar disorder. Does it work? <i>The Independent's</i> theatre critic Paul Taylor, himself a sufferer, is in two minds

Mark Haddon: The curious incident of the novelist turned playwright

Seven years after his debut novel announced the arrival of a distinct literary voice, Mark Haddon is preparing to take on the theatre

An Enemy of the People, Crucible Theatre, Sheffield<br/>A Midsummer Night's Dream, Rose Theatre, Kingston<br/>Serenading Louie, Donmar Warehouse, London

The new regime at the revamped Crucible gets off to a flying start with scorchingly relevant Ibsen
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