'A play that hilariously explores, and exploits, the insane rituals of theatre' ... Natalie Walter and Aden Gillett in the National Theatre's revival of Noises Off. Photograph: Tristram Kenton/Guardian
'Somerset Maugham said that writers should sit with their back to the window. I sit sideways on most of the time. Moderation in this, as in all things' ... Michael Frayn's writing room. Photograph: Eamonn McCabe/Guardian
'A play that shows how the divided selves of chancellor and spy echo the contradictions of the two Germanies' ... Roger Allam in Michael Blakemore's National Theatre production of Democracy. Photograph: Conrad Blakemore/National Theatre
'Gloriously makes a bonfire of the genres and produces a kind of propulsive madness' ... Samantha Bond, Edward Petherbridge and Mark Addy in the West End revival of Donkeys' Years. Photograph: Tristram Kenton/Guardian
Morality play... Roger Allam in Afterlife at the National Theatre. Photograph: Tristram Kenton
Theatre itself has been a key metaphor in Michael Frayn's work - from the farcical Noises Off to the philosophical Look Look. Now Frayn turns his attention to the legendary Austrian director Max Reinhardt, whose production of Everyman outlives its creator by playing annually in Salzburg's Domplatz. But, while Frayn's play ripples with invention and is beautifully staged by Michael Blakemore, it is difficult to discover universal resonance in Reinhardt's career.