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Michael Billington

Shakespeare in Love review a heady celebration of the act of theatre

Many of the best lines may come from the film, but the play manages to be a warm and witty paean to life on the stage.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona review delightful dip into the power of love

Director Simon Godwin eagerly explores the light and dark sides of romance in a striking RSC debut.

Medea review Carrie Cracknell's play is a tragic force to be reckoned with

Helen McCrory excels in this modern-dress take on Euripides that is alive with complexity and psychological astuteness.

Amadeus review Rupert Everett's Salieri darkly rages at God

Chichester Festival TheatrePeter Shaffer's spectacle of Mozart's mediocre rival distorts historical reality but remains compelling and stylishly presentedFew living dramatists write big star parts. Peter Shaffer certainly has that capacity, which is one o

The Importance of Being Earnest review trivialises sublime Wilde

Harold Pinter, LondonIf it stripped away the daft framing, this staging could capture Wilde's deft commentary on class, money, marriage and moralsIf visitors to Paris's Père Lachaise cemetery currently hear a strange noise, it is that of Oscar Wilde's s

In Lambeth review Blake v Paine in lively imaginary encounter

In this well-acted revival, the poet and the philosopher face off in a slow-moving but stimulating debate.

Miss Julie/Black Comedy review sprightly Strindberg, sublime Shaffer

Strindberg's Miss Julie is well directed, but it's Shaffer's dark comedy that illuminates in this contrasting double bill.

Richard III review Martin Freeman's accomplished office politics not enough

Jamie Lloyd's latest Shakespearean staging is inventive, but it's missing the monarch's lurid sexiness and demonic exuberance.

Julius Caesar review robustly energetic

Dominic Dromgoole's lively production, with Elizabethan costume and Roman accessories, delivers Shakespeare with great clarity, but the main roles are unevenly cast Before you enter the theatre, you find yourself accosted by wild, chanting ruffians: not,