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Martin Crimp’s witty, erudite version of Molière’s verse comedy doesn’t need a star to make it work, but Keira Knightley definitely cuts it in her West End debut as twenty-something American film star Jennifer.

Transposed from 17th Century Paris to a swanky London hotel and today’s celebrity culture, Crimp’s swiftly delivered, almost too-clever couplets mock the media world and all its trappings.

Artists, agents, actors and journalists all come under fire from Damian Lewis’s angrily cynical playwright Alceste, who, ironically, is in thrall to the flirtatious, bitchy but beautiful Jennifer.

Thea Sharrock’s production could be funnier in places – but Tim McMullan’s critic with misplaced aspirations hits just the right note of overblown pomposity in this enjoyable satire.

LOUISE KINGSLEY

» Comedy, Panton St, SW1Y 4DN, (0844 871 7622). Until Mar 13. £20-£49.50


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