Our ex­perts round up the best plays and mu­si­cals

The Sunday Telegraph - Sunday - - Film Theatre -

CRITIC’S CHOICE Women on the Verge of a Ner­vous Break­down A mu­si­cal com­edy based on a cult Pe­dro Almod­ó­var film about a bunch of women go­ing doolally over a cheat­ing mid­dle-aged cad? A show, more­over, that flopped on Broad­way? Fret not, how­ever: this is an ab­so­lute joy of an evening, built on the un­hing­ing despair that all of us ex­pe­ri­ence in fac­ing re­jec­tion, heart­break and BEST OF THE REST Tree As an an­ti­dote to the drear New Year, check out the de­but stage play of co­me­dian Daniel Kit­son, who takes a sim­ple sce­nario – two char­ac­ters, one at the foot of a tree, the other at its top – and scales heights of wit and warmth. DC Old Vic, London SE1, to Jan 31; 0844 871 7628, old­victhe­atre.com City of An­gels The joy of this mu­si­cal, su­perbly re­vived by Josie Rourke, is that it’s bit­terly amus­ing about Hol­ly­wood but serves as far more than a one-note satire. Two nar­ra­tives work in con­cert. In the “real” world, clack­ing away on a typewriter, a hack is adapt­ing his de­tec­tive the jeal­ousy that comes with love be­trayed. Thanks to a smart book by Jef­frey Lane, the gag count is much higher than in the 1988 film, and Tam­sin Greig – as the dumped tele­vi­sion ac­tress Pepa – has us hooked on ev­ery as­ton­ished and dis­tressed look, os­cil­lat­ing be­tween res­ig­na­tion and rage. Against the odds, this is a real Madrid tonic. Do­minic Cavendish Play­house The­atre, London WC2; 0844 871 7631, women on­thev­erge­mu­si­cal.com novel for the big screen. In the “reel” world, his char­ac­ters are em­broiled in a noirish mys­tery. Larry Gel­bart’s di­a­logue has the zest of Ray­mond Chandler, and Cy Cole­man’s jazzy score is a sen­sa­tion. DC Don­mar Ware­house, London WC2, to Feb 7; 0844 871 7624, don­mar­ware­house.com BOOK AHEAD Sarah Kane sea­son A fan­tas­tic chance to see why Kane (1971-99) is hailed as one of the most in­no­va­tive play­wrights of re­cent times. A re­vival of her con­tro­ver­sial Royal Court de­but Blasted (di­rected by Richard Wilson) is fol­lowed by Crave and 4.48 Psy­chosis. Cru­cible The­atre, Sh­effield, from Feb 4; 0114 249 6000, sheffieldthe­atres.co.uk

Smart: ‘Women on the Verge of a Ner­vous Break­down’

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