Donmar Warehouse

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.

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.

Mirren to tread boards after six-year absence

Dame Helen Mirren is to return to the stage for the first time in six years. The Oscar-winning actress, 63, will star in a three-month run of Jean Racine's 17th-century drama, Phèdre, at the National Theatre.

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