Artbeat: weekly arts diary

7th September 2001 at 01:00

School life may not always be a barrel of laughs these days, but at least you are not a Victorian muffin seller. Representatives of the muffin and crumpet trade are reduced to hurling their products at politicians during the National Youth Theatre's two-evening production of Nicholas Nickleby at the Lyric Theatre in Hammersmith . But laws curtailing street sales are not the main point of this two-part adaptation of Dickens's novel by playwright David Edgar. Here is classic storytelling with plenty of scope for a large cast who can give full rein to colourful character acting while dressed in crinolines and spats (or rags if they are inmates at Dotheboys Hall).

In rep until September 15. Tickets: 020 8741 2311. Information about auditions: 0845 603 9063; other projects: 020 7281 3863. Website: www.nyt.org.uk

Thousands of young people are promising to practise their musical instruments for a good cause. Practice-a-thon! is being run by Sargent Cancer Care for Children and could raise pound;1 million or more. Already 40,000 young musicians have signed up to be sponsored. Pupils should register now, get their special pack and choose a fortnight for sponsored practice in the spring. Families and some professional musicians will also take part. To register: 020 8752 2866 or email: JaneFerguson@Sargent.org

Those who have proved the value of practice will be taking part in the free Children's Prom in the Park on September 16, in the afternoon, in Hyde Park. The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra will be joined by Brit Awards winning band A1 and stars from children's television.

Dance teachers can benefit from a workshop day at the Festival Hall in London tomorrow, where they can share experiences with professional dancers. Different Takes in Dance focuses on encouraging boys to get up and have a go. Tickets: 020 7960 4242.

At the Cornerhouse in Manchester All Colours Will Agree in the Dark will celebrate the varied works of 13 artists from the Manchester Metropolitan University's MA fine art course -nbsp; everything from video to reworked children's scrawls can be seen from September 22-30.

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