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OnOff Stage

The two week festival of international animated theatre, Visions 94, draws to a close at the University of Brighton this weekend. The biggest festival of animation and puppetry to take place in this country, it is spawning offshoots elsewhere over the next month.

Puppetvisions 94 takes place at South Hill Park, Bracknell, Berkshire (0344 484123) with performances until Saturday and an exhibition of puppets made of paper running until November 19. Visions 94: Bradford runs at the Alhambra Studio, Bradford, West Yorkshire (0274 752000) until November 6 with performances, workshops and masterclasses presented by companies from Bulgaria, Italy and Spain.

Visions 94 has also been the springboard for a series of community and outreach puppet and animation projects for children and young people in and around Brighton and for a two-phase project for people using the mental health services in Thanet, Kent, in association with Mind.

It's coming up to the October 31 deadline for proposals for the international conference Researching Drama and Theatre in Education to be held from April 10 to 13 next year at the University of Exeter School of Education.

Contributions are being invited from researchers in the form of a presentation, a paper for publication or a poster to be displayed and discussed in an open forum. Conference director John Somers may be contacted on 0392 264824.

The Boom Room, otherwise known as the Purcell Room at the South Bank Centre is the place to be on Saturday afternoons if you're extremely young and out for some fun. On November 19, Kazzum Arts Project presents Swings and Roundabouts for three to seven years olds, a mix of physical and visual theatre with masks and puppets in which Kym creates a fantasy world and discovers in the process how important it is to say what you feel. Bookings: 071 928 8800.

Snap Theatre Company tours an original adaptation of the story of a rural community riddled with gossip and superstition. No, not The Archers, but Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge which will visit theatres, village halls and arts centres around the country. Details from Snap on 0279 504095.

Rosie and Jim's Big Theatre Adventure, a stage play of the popular children's television rag dolls written by Nona Shepphard sounds worth seeing. It is an introduction to theatre-going for young children, taking the two dolls and a motor-powered duck of their acquaintance backstage to explore the behind the scenes work that goes into making theatre. The play is on national tour and has its final run at the Wimbledon Theatre from December 6 to 10.

A teacher's pack with suggestions for role play activities, developed by Ragdoll, creators of Rosie and Jim is available. For details of the tour, contact Judith Cheston on 0608 661198.

What's Your Poison by Simon Turley is a theatre in health education programme about substance abuse. Presented by Rent a Role at the Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, the play and accompanying workshop tour schools in Plymouth and Torbay until November 18. More information on 0752 267131.

Reva Klein * Poetry International, Britain's biggest poetry festival opens at London's South Bank tonight with an appearance by Tony Harrison in the Purcell Room. The festival, which lasts until November 6, features poets from all over the world and includes children's poetry, workshops on translating and a film premi re. The Irish poet Eavan Boland will deliver the Poetry Book Society's Ronald Duncan Lecture "Gods Make Their Own Importance: the Authority of the Poet in our Time". Box office: 071 928 8800.

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