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Music, laughter and tales from the script

Heather Neill presents a round-up of coming events that takes in concerts, comedy, calligraphy and, oh yes, football

Music

* Live Music Now! is celebrating its silver jubilee with celebrations and special events all over the UK. It was Yehudi Menuhin's idea: young musicians starting out on their careers could bring music to groups of people who would not usually have the opportunity to experience it. The musicians would be paid and gain valuable experience, while, as Menuhin put it, they brought "live music into everyday lives of people of all ages not only in the home but also where we work, study, suffer or celebrate, be it in the office or factory, school or prison, parish hall or church".

Thousands of concerts and workshops have since taken place in prisons, hospitals, special needs schools, day centres and public venues.

Among coming dates is a tour in Durham by Ensemble Latino on June 17 to 20, a children's concert at the Criccieth Festival by the Kintamami Saxaphone Quartet on June 20 and a showcase concert at the Purcell Room in London on July 8. For details of hundreds of other events: www.livemusicnow.org.

* On June 24, the Royal Albert Hall will ring with the sound of 1,000 children singing gospel music in the culmination of the Young Disciples Project set up in 2000. The children - from Brighton, Norwich and the London boroughs of Enfield, Southwark, Haringey and Barnet - will be joined by the adult gospel choir, 100 Voices. Tickets for Young Disciples 2002 Gospel Concert: 020 7589 8212.

Calligraphy

* At the October Gallery in London, nine exponents of Arabic calligraphy are showing their work in Master Strokes. Artists from Libya, Pakistan, Tunisia, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine and Jordan are represented in a colourful display that crosses the boundary between word and image. Part of the exhibition's proceeds will go to HMD Response, a charity working for victims of conflict. Information: 020 7242 7367; www.theoctobergallery.com.

Comedy

* Some of the best-known acts on the black comedy circuit will be performing at the Green Room in Manchester when Stand Up Black Britain arrives there on June 22. Tears and belly-ache laughter are promised. For tickets, tel: 0161 615 0500.

Children's theatre

* Junior interest in football is catered for at the Polka Theatre in London, where Vicky Ireland's adaptation of Allan Ahlberg's poetry anthology Friendly Matches will be scoring goals between June 13 and August 17. Singing, dancing and poetry combine to tell the story of the Inglehurst junior school football team. Will they win the league cup? There's only one way to find out. Tickets: 020 8543 4888. Information: www.polkatheatre.com.

* At the Sherman Theatre in Cardiff children under six are invited to sit under a canopy onstage to listen to Aesop's Fables. Actors who sing and play musical instruments bring to life familiar characters such as the Hare and the Tortoise and the Boy Who Cried Wolf. Until June 15. Tickets: 029 20646900.

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