And speaking of puppets acting as goodwill ambassadors, the Suffolk-based Nutmeg Puppets has formed a partnership with schools, artists and ecologists in the environmentally ravaged Danube Delta of Romania. Part of the relationship has been a link between Gisleham Middle School in the Broads and Mahmudia School in the Delta, allowing the children to work concurrently on ecology-related and arts projects. The aim of the joint project is, in the words of Meg Amsden of Nutmeg, "to inspire a new generation of 'Delta and Broads Guardians' who understand that, in the long term, care of the environment is in their personal and economic interests." For more information, contact Meg Amsden on 01502 478525.
Do You Dare? is Dorset Theatre in Education's interactive programme for Year 9s designed to raise awareness of the dangers of macho bravado. Touring Dorset schools free until the end of the month, it is sponsored by Healthworks, the county's health promotion agency, and commissioned by Dorset Road Safety. The programme draws on a number of drama strategies to promote an understanding of personal, social and health education through the arts. And for something completely different, next term Dorset TIE tours a GCSE English programme on the poetry of World War One, entitled Pro Patria Mori. More information on both projects from Shaz Watkins on 01202 395759.
The National Student Theatre Company is performing The Big Book for Girls at the Pleasance London from December 17 to January 12. It is a rare London appearance for the Edinburgh Fringe award winning company. The play, by Joe Richards, is a musical comedy rooted in the world of 1930s girls' annuals. Sounds a jolly jape. Bookings on 0171 609 1800. The Pleasance London is on North Road, off Caledonian Road, London N7.
Merseyside Young People's Theatre tours Chasing Shadows to schools until the end of the month. The play, devised by actors from Turkey, Hungary and this country, explores the histories, folk culture and experiences of the three countries. The Merseyside run follows a two month tour of Turkey and Budapest. For details, contact Karen O'Donnell on 0151 708 0877.