24 July 2014 Last update less than 3 hours ago

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Shakespeare in Love Noel Coward Theatre, London

Theatre  Declan Donnellan’s stage adaptation of the Oscar-laden 1998 film - in which Judi Dench famously acquired a best supporting actress award for her eight-minute turn as Queen Elizabeth I - is carried by its not inconsiderable charms.

Holes Arcola Tent, London

Theatre  Tom Basden’s Holes takes the plot of TV’s Lost and splices it with Lord of the Flies: the writer, a BBC favourite, strands three conference organisers and a teenager on an island, and invites us to watch them disintegrate.

Calamity Jane Watermill, Newbury

Theatre  With a successful history of actor/musician productions, including Sunset Boulevard and last year’s Witches of Eastwick, the Watermill is stepping back in time to present this popular musical featuring an Oscar-winning score by Sammy Fain.

Coppelia London Coliseum

Dance  The popularity of athleticism, and so-called ‘bra and knicker ballets’ - where the dancers wear little more than underwear - has sidelined many traditional productions; Coppelia is one refugee of this trend.

The Boy Who Fell Into a Book Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

Theatre  As Alan Ayckbourn has opted to direct this musical with the team behind The Demon Headmaster stage show, we must assume that he approves of its treatment of his 1998 play.

The Two Gentlemen of Verona Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon

Theatre  The Two Gentlemen of Verona is a play of experiment - it’s the work of a writer finding his voice and in it you can see familiar themes and devices being fleshed out.

Romeo and Juliet Oriental Club, London

Theatre  The original Lord Chamberlain’s Men founded in 1594 was one of the two leading acting company of the era, featuring performances in secondary roles by Shakespeare himself.

Aida Coade, Bryanston

Opera  In its 40th anniversary year, Dorset Festival Opera demonstrates impressive standards in this full-scale production of one of Verdi’s grandest works.

Wendy Whelan: Restless Creature Linbury Studio Theatre, Royal Opera House, London

Dance  Wendy Whelan presents four collaborative duets, which she performs with each choreographer.

Deathtrap St Edmund’s Hall, Southwold

Theatre  More than 30 years since it became the longest-running thriller on Broadway, Ira Levin’s play within a play still packs an evil punch.

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