* HomebodyKabul, American playwright Tony Kushner's new play at the Young Vic in London, deals with the ascendancy of the Taliban in Afghanistan in 1998. In the first section, a loquacious middle-aged, middle-class Englishwoman, brilliantly played by Kika Markham, delivers a wonderful monologue in which she reveals her own history and that of Afghanistan. After the "homebody" goes to Kabul, and is reported murdered, her husband and daughter follow her trail. Their selfish considerations outweigh any political interest, but there are insights into the terrors of everyday life in Kabul, especially for women.
The Young Vic is supporting the TES Children Helping Children campaign to assist the reintroduction of a viable education system in Afghanistan. For details about how to help see this week's TES Teacher magazine, page 19 Tickets: 020 7633 0133.
* Madonna's London stage debut in Up for Grabs will provide fuel for the celebrity versus talent debate. The small impact made by the larger-than-life pop princess contrasts with the acting around her in a superficial play on a worthwhile subject - art as the currency of the rich. Wyndhams Theatre: 020 7369 1795.
Exhibition * It is 400 years since a party of Englishmen stayed behind in the port of Bantam, Java, as two ships laden with pepper sailed for home. This was the first overseas base of the two-year-old East India Company, and its establishment would lay the foundations of the British Empire in Asia. At the British Library, Trading Places: the East India Company and Asia examines the impact of the East on Britain and vice versa. Details of workshops: 020 7412 7332.
Contemporary art * At the Liverpool Tate, well-known artists such as Chris Ofili, Gillian Wearing and Wolfgang Tillmans find inspiration in music. Remix: contemporary art and pop makes connections between visual art, music, film and music videos. Club culture, celebrity glamour, DJs and pop groups are all here. Until August. Tickets: 0151 702 7400. Information: www.tate.org.ukliverpool.
* On June 17, Leicester International Music Festival will feature the first performance of a work by composer Andrew Gant. Children from primary schools in Cosby and Whetstone will join instrumentalists and members of Countesthorpe College Chamber Choir on a singing tour of the galleries of the New Walk Museum. The theme of Dear Mr Cook is travel, inspired by the inventor of the package holiday, Thomas Cook. Tickets: 0116 255 4854.
* If you are in London at the start of next week (see Get away, right), don't miss the "living artwork" of Monday's parade down the Mall at 3pm. Designed to show the diversity of the Commonwealth, it will include Kapa Haka dancers, singers and drummers from New Zealand, geometric floats from the Ndebele women artists of southern Africa, martial arts, sports groups and Rainbow Wishes (seven arches, 30ft high, made up of more than 4,000 individual hand-drawn messages for the future from children of 54 nations).