Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Top Five Plays; Critic's Choice

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Top Five Plays; Critic's Choice

Article excerpt

Tom Fool, Bush, W12

Tom Fool is the opposite of thrillseeker's theatre. Yet in the intimacy of the Bush theatre, this daringly realistic revival of Franz Xaver Kroetz's 1978 play Mensch Meier casts a spell that is unique it is the most involving play I have ever seen. On a set that recreates a drab 1970s flat, a series of episodes in the life of the Meier family build up to the petty tiff that rips it apart.

The slow attention to detail is maddening, and mesmerising. Superbly acted, their simple tale feels like a documentary of social change, brought to life by flashes of manic, oppressed poetry.

(020 7610 4224). Until 21 April.

The Skin Game Orange Tree, Richmond

This theatre reminds us again that John Galsworthy, best known now for The Forsyte Saga, was in his day recognised equally as a playwright. This is a splendid revival of a gripping tale of Revival at The Bush: Liam FOR FULL THEATRE

class conflict between old and new money. The auction of a piece of land is the focus of Squire Hilllcrist's clash with brash businessman neighbour Hornblower becomes almost a fight to the death that has grave consequences for their families. Whether or not it's an allegory of the First World War or the post-war years, it's compelling viewing, directed by Sam Walters. (020 8940 3633). Until 28 April.

Dying for It Almeida, N1

No play in modern theatrical history has suffered such a history of censorship as this extraordinary black comedy by Nikolai Erdman in which Semyon, an unemployed, impoverished young man, decides to kill himself. Visitors arrive begging Semyon to die for them. While attacking Stalin's ghastly brave new world, Erdman celebrates the triumph of staying alive and was arrested and exiled for seven years in 1932. In Anna Mackmin's exuberant, high velocity production the Liam Brenan as Otto Meier THEATRE LISTINGS LOG play emerges as a great, neglected drama, despite a few irritations of accent. …

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