Theatre: Read all about it

The upside-down morality of the press made for a huge theatrical hit back in 1928. Will lightning strike twice?

Choice: Theatre: Electra

Electra, Donmar Warehouse, London WC2 (0171-369 1732)

The fears of a clown

Zoe Wanamaker is heartrending in the Chichester production of Elektra

THEATRE: Enter the Guardsman

Denmark labours under fearsome stereotypes. People always think they gave the world the pop group A-ha. They didn't. That was Norway. Then there's Danish bacon, Danish Blue, a herring-heavy diet, saunas, The Little Mermaid, and all those blond men called Nils.

THEATRE: The Seagull; Donmar Warehouse, London

Actors are supposed to wish each other "Break a leg"; you suspect that Mark Bazeley has heard rather too many jokes on that score just lately, so we'll just take it as read. The reason I mention this is that, as we were informed on the way into the Donmar for the press night of The Seagull last Thursday, Bazeley had injured his leg and would therefore be playing Konstantin, the romantic young writer, with the aid of a crutch: this was not, we were assured, meant to be taken as part of the interpretation. As it turned out, the crutch suited the part rather well, heightening the sense that Konstantin, with his high artistic ideals and his fits of self-loathing and despair, is an outsider; and in Bazeley's fine performance, the intensity of his inner anger seemed to be magnified by the scuttling, awkward gait he was forced to adopt from time to time.

Maid of stern stuff

John Walsh meets Kerry Fox... the `Shallow Grave' star who gets what she wants

THEATRE The Maids Donmar Warehouse, London

There are few certainties in theatre, but it's a safe bet that you're unlikely to find a contemporary playwright dramatising "the servant problem". Writers from Plautus via Strindberg to Jean Marsh with Upstairs Downstairs found it immensely fertile territory. Genet's treatment of the subject in his first produced play The Maids, however, remains unique.


The Fix

Theatre: The Fix Donmar Warehouse, London

First night review

THEATRE: Widows; Badfinger Oxford Playhouse; Donmar Warehouse

It all began with his hallucination of an old woman by a river, holding the hand of a body just washed up on the bank. The Chilean author Ariel Dorfman has explored that image in a poem, then in a novel, and now - after many rewrites, workshops, a collaboration with Tony Kushner and yet further revisions - it achieves its final dramatic form in Widows, powerfully staged by Ian Brown in the touring Traverse Theatre production.

Theatre: Nine, Donmar Warehouse, London

Nine, Donmar Warehouse, London, WC2 (0171-369 1732) In preview, opens Thur

How's your father?

THEATRE Fool for Love, Donmar Warehouse, London

THEATRE Pentecost, Donmar Warehouse, London

Stewart Parker's play about lives lived on Belfast's sectarian frontline eschews bullet-headedness and reaps considerable dividends, says David Benedict

THEATRE Hedda Gabler, Donmar Warehouse, London / Chichester Festivalr referees the great Ibsen showdown

Hedda to Hedda clash - a double Hedda. Lindy Davies's Chichester staging of Ibsen's great play has opened in the same week that Stephen Unwin's English Touring Theatre version embarked on its London run at the Donmar Warehouse. A coincidence calculated to cause a serious case of bad puns and invidious comparisons in the resulting reviews. The way they measure up to each other can be simply stated. Unwin's is the more carefully pondered account of the play but it narrows the confines within which Alexandra Gilbreath's Hedda is allowed to operate. At Chichester, Davies's production isn't nearly as thought-through but the multiple contradictions in the heroine are encompassed with a thrilling ice-and-fire flair by Harriet Walter.

THEATRE / Habeas Corpus, Donmar Warehouse, London

Sam Mendes has exhumed Alan Bennett's breast-obsessed farce with a brain. But does he know what he's grappling with?
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