Onoff stage

Out of the many young people's theatre or education-related arts companies which received grants from the National Lottery's Arts for Everyone funding scheme are two names familiar to readers of this column. Congratulations to Pop Up Theatre, who must be popping its 15-year-old buttons at the news of a cool Pounds 220,218 award, which will enable the national touring company to expand its work with primary pupils. Artistic director Michael Dalton also hopes to increase the number of touring shows. But first, he has to find the final Pounds 20,000 needed for partnership funding.

And great news, too, for the Young Vic, which has been awarded Pounds 476,000 to create a new company of resident young actors and musicians, to be supported by a programme of education and outreach work. It, too, must raise a total of Pounds 84,000 over the next three years to release the lottery money.

John Prescott would love this. From the middle of September for two weeks, 2,000 11 and 12-year-old pupils from 10 secondary schools in Merseyside are taking part in a unique drama project. Run by First Bite Theatre in Education Company, commissioned by Merseytravel's Community Links Team and financed by the Safer Merseyside Partnership, Move It! is a highly physical theatre piece about young people's experience of travel in their city. Follow-up workshops will help students make informed decisions about how to use public transport. For details, ring First Bite TIE on 0151 448 1818.

A co-production of Measure for Measure between Nottingham Playhouse, Edinburgh Festival and the Barbican, London, enters the second leg of its tour this week in Nottingham (until September 27). From there, the play, which started at the Royal Lyceum Theatre at the Edinburgh Festival, goes on international tour. Londoners can catch up with it in May 1998, when it winds up at the Barbican. It is the first English language production of French-born director Stephane Braunschweig. For information ring Nottingham Playhouse: 0115 947 0882.

Bernard Kops's award-winning Dreams of Anne Frank can be seen at the Warehouse Theatre, Croydon, from September 12 to October 5. For bookings, ring 0181 680 4060.

You've read the book; you've seen the movie - now watch it on stage. Whirligig Theatre is staging the world premiere production of Babe, the Sheep Pig, adapted from the novel by Dick King-Smith. Directed by the indefatigable David Wood, the show tours the country from November 17 through to May. For a full tour schedule, ring Whirligig on 0181 947 1732.

One of the many perks of living or working in north London is the proximity of the Little Angel Theatre in Islington, and its beautiful puppet productions. Coming up this month is The Wild Night of the Witches by Nugent Barker, a rollicking comedy about two rival witches. It plays in rep with John Agard's Many-legged Musicians of Bremley Town, a reworking of the Grimm's Tale. Every weekend morning there are also productions for younger children. For details, ring the Little Angel on 0171 226 1787.

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