Joan Plowright

Orson's Shadow (Southwark Playhouse)
Welles and Olivier go head to head in Austin Pendleton's drama
Michael Coveney on Maggie Smith's 'unique' stage career
Hints that Dame Maggie will no longer appear on stage signal the end of an illustrious chapter, writes her biographer
Michael Coveney: Geraldine McEwan was a great comic stylist
McEwan, who has died aged 82, had a 'syrupy, seductive voice and a forthright, sparkling manner'
Michael Coveney: Women fight back in opera and Shakespeare while Timothy Spall triumphs at Cannes
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa has become the latest high-profile figure to air their views on the opera critics' comments about Tara Erraught's performance in Der Rosenkavalier at Glyndebourne
Michael Coveney: National comes alive in memories at its own 50th birthday gala
A dream cast list and a canny selection of scenes sent our chief critic into raptures on Saturday night