Art beat;Features amp; Arts;Subject of the week;History

5th November 1999 at 00:00
Art teachers seeking innovative ideas for their students to copy are unlikely to suggest following Tracey Emin's example of an unmade bed complete with soiled sheets, dirty knickers and used condoms - especially after the original led to a pillow fight between two people who used Emin's work as the basis for their own artistic statement. Luckily Emin's entry for the Turner Prize was easier to restore than, say, a Rembrandt would have been. The Turner always provides plenty of fuel for discussion, not all of it at the shock-horror level, so it is worth getting hold of the Tate Gallery's information for teachers: 0171 887 87657.

A more obvious source of inspiration might well be the new national Children's Art Award, Artworks, to be launched next Tuesday. On November 9, Chris Smith, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport will join the award's patron, Vivien Duffield, Loyd Grossman (who will provide guests with a special packed lunch) and footballer David Ginola to provide the right mixture of serious intent and street cred. The award is open to every schoolchild in the country, with prizes of materials and gallery visits rather than cash.

Prizes worth pound;45,000 will be awarded to individuals and schools, at least 16 of which will each receive pound;2000. But perhaps even better are the plans for a specially designed interactive website,, live from Tuesday, to enable children to gain direct experience of art. This will include information about every gallery in the country and, in 2000, will contain a "virtual" gallery of prizewinners to complement a touring "hard copy" exhibition. The closing date for entries is March 17, 2000. Information: 01634 291122 Meanwhile the Young at Art Awards 2000 will celebrate the art of London students aged 11 to 19. Categories include body adornment, review writing, textiles, film, fine art and photography. Entries must arrive by January 21, 2000. Prizes include art materials and trips abroad. For further information, tel: 0171 514 6238, e-mail: Anyone studying Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles might be interested to see how the other arts can make the text come alive. A one-and-a-half million pound musical version arrives at the Savoy Theatre in London next week. Karen Louise Hebden, who has adapted the novel and directs the production with young actresses Poppy Tierney and Philippa Healey alternating in the lead role, calls the piece "Tess-centric" - she leaves the stage for only 10 minutes.

Hebden is surprised at just how much of the story they have managed to include. She knows it inside out, having worked on the project for a couple of years, and is well aware of all the earlier versions, including Hardy's own stage adaptations and two silent movies.

Her Tess, she believes, comes over as "rounded, whole, with moments of strength and vulnerability". She is shown stabbing Alec and giving Angel her reasons "as she does in the book". The music, says Karen, is "organic" to the production, "underscoring atmosphere, weather, emotion. You don't suddenly hit a big song." Tickets: 0171 836 8888.

London's Royal Albert Hall will witness the hitting of big songs, big fanfares and the "TES Millennium Anthem" early next week. The Schools Proms, run by Music for Youth and sponsored by, among others, The TES, will celebrate their 25th anniversary on November 8, 9 and 10. The Prince of Wales will attend for the first time on the Tuesday evening and will hear brass, steel and big bands as well as orchestras and choirs. Birthday guests will include popular percussionist Evelyn Glennie who will present the TES bursary of pound;1000 to an outstanding young musician on the Wednesday evening. Tickets: 0171 589 8212. Music for Youth: 0181 870 9624.

The anniversary nobody can ignore is the dawning of a new millennium (if, indeed, you agree that the end of 1999 rather than 2000 is the time to celebrate this). The National Theatre has been celebrating with NT2000, the 100 outstanding plays of the century, in platform presentations, including discussions and performance, at 6pm on certain evenings. There are still some gems to catch, including Charlotte Keatley's My Mother Said I Never Should on Monday, and Timberlake Wertenbaker's Our Country's Good on Tuesday, both to be attended by the authors. Tickets: 0171 452 3000.

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