I missed Patrick Marber's 1990s classic play about an all-male poker school the first time round but I was thrilled by this revival in the intimate space of the Menier Chocolate Factory. From where I was sitting I could have reached out and stirred Roger Lloyd Pack's coffee on stage. Never having played poker and having a phobia about card games of all kinds, I wasn't sure whether the subject matter would leave me cold or just be incomprehensible. But I needn't have worried. In Samuel West's direction, the play comes up fresh as a daisy and confirms my view that Patrick Marber is a playwright of huge talent, though he hasn't written a real masterpiece - yet. As studies of intimate relationships, Dealer's Choice and Closer make great theatre. I couldn't come to terms with Howard Katz, Marber's next play for the National Theatre, but his After Miss Julie, a reworking of Strindberg at the Donmar, was electrifying stuff. Don Juan in Soho (after Moliere) at the same theatre wasn't quite so successful. What's good about Dealer's Choice is that unlike so many plays, it's not bogged down by excessive backstory or offstage events. The interesting stuff all happens on stage, and though all the characters have some kind of past history, these elements never overshadow the action. The six male characters are finely drawn, their dialogue sizzles and the words they throw at each other ARE the action, not just a comment on it. Wonderful writing. I particularly liked the performances of Stephen Wight (who played Don Juan's sidekick at the Donmar) as the moronic waiter Mugsy and Samuel Barnett (ex-History Boys) as Carl the restaurant proprietor's gambling-addicted son. Fine performances also from Malcolm Sinclair as Stephen, the proprietor, Ross Boatman as Sweeney the chef and Jay Simpson as Frankie the cocky waiter. Roger Lloyd Pack is equally impressive as the outsider Ash, the professional gambler who coolly takes the others to the cleaners. This play's transferring to the Trafalgar Studios. The Menier is a great venue and the two-course menu is great value at £12 if you're seeing the show and buy an all-in ticket. The only blemish on the evening was the fact that almost nobody got a programme because they had run out -- presumably somebody had failed to reorder.