OnOff Stage

19th January 1996 at 00:00
Congratulations to the Welsh College of Music and Drama which has won more than Pounds 1 million from the National Lottery. The money will go on new recital halls, drama performance space and teaching and rehearsal rooms. This is the first lottery fund award for Welsh Arts Education.

And speaking of those lusted-after smackeroos, the Polka Theatre's done it again. No, not the lottery; a rather more modest but nonetheless useful Pounds 5,000 has been awarded to the Wimbledon-based children's theatre by Marks and Spencer for the seventh year running. The money goes towards the theatre's special needs programme of drama workshops and signed performances.

The workshops form part of the Polka's outreach programme for children who are unable to visit the theatre. For children visiting it, there is a special "space rocket" lift, wide corridors and removeable seats for wheelchair access and an induction loop and scripts sent out in advance for visually and hearing impaired children.

If you missed it the first time around last year, catch the Unicorn Theatre's wildly pleasurable production of The Magic Flute. It runs in rep with The Pied Piper until January 27, with extra evening performances being presented on Saturday 20 and 27 at 7.30pm. From January 30, the production tours to Preston, Darlington, Manchester, Swindon and High Wycombe. Details: 0171 836 3334.

Just when you thought that you'd seen or heard of every Romeo and Juliet ever staged, up pops another one. The newest is a Means and Ends Production at the New End Theatre in Hampstead and sounds very different, using "a variety of multi-media techniques" to present the story in the company's hallmarked "no-nonsense" way. It runs until February 4 with extra matinees on Sundays. Bookings: 0171 794 0022.

Could it be You? is Dorset Theatre in Education's new drugs education production touring year seven classes in ten county schools. Using a quiz show format, the show draws its audience into asking the contestant questions about his past life during which he introduced a young girl to drugs. For more information, ring Tony Horitz on 01202 395759.

Six months ago, the Gloucestershire Everyman Theatre was under threat of closure. To turn itself around, it was transformed from a producing to a touring house and the result is that audiences have never been bigger. To complement the visiting productions, the education department has created Hatrick, a season of three plays and workshops touring schools and community venues in and around Gloucestershire. Workshops for Charlotte Keatley's My Mother Said I Never Should, Steven Berkoff's adaptation of Metamorphosis and The Tempest are bookable with the performances. Tour enquiries to Siobhan Logue at the Everyman's education department on 01242 512515.

Repwriters is a new group for professional and aspirant playwrights in the West Midlands run by Birmingham Rep. The group is for existing RepTheatre Writers Union group members, and anyone else keen to write for the theatre. Contact Ben Payne on 0121 236 6771.

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