OnOff Stage

16th May 2007 at 01:00

Think about how much foyer space in a theatre sits there doing nothing when there are no productions. Administrators at The Churchill Theatre in Bromley, Kent, did just that and, together with the Bromley Youth Agency, the local police, churches and other organisations, came up with The Zone, a drop-in centre being launched at the end of the month which will be open six days a week from 1pm to 4pm.

Staffed by youth and community workers, it will operate as a counselling service, a place to go for confidential advice on health, drugs and substance abuse, alcohol, and sexual issues, education, housing and training. It will also be a place in which to hang out, play pool, get practical help with job hunting and take part in literacy and numeracy classes. For more information on The Zone, phone Jean McLeod: 0181 697 2005.

The National Youth Music Theatre takes the stage of the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith with Bugsy Malone from May 27 to 31. Celebrating its 21st year, the NYMT's production was a sell-out at last year's Edinburgh Fringe. Jeremy James Taylor, the company's artistic director and co-director of the production was awarded the best director at the festival last year by BBC Radio 5 Live. Catch one of its seven performances in London by booking on 0181 741 2311.

Strathcona, the country's leading learning disabled theatre company, hits the Young Vic Studio with An Error of Judgment, possibly the first ever look at the low conviction rates and under-reporting of crimes against learning disabled people.

Directed by Ann Cleary and Ian McCurrach, the play integrates movement, mime and dance into a narrative devised by Strathcona's ensemble of performers. An Error of Judgment can be seen at the Young Vic Studio from June 10 to 21 (0171 928 6363) as part of a national tour.

Sad news for London Drama, which is about to be made homeless. Kingsway College is selling off the Holborn Centre for the Performing Arts, its centrally located home, by Christmas. Indomitable directors Chris Lawrence and Win Bayliss are asking members to fight the good fight, get others to join London Drama, come to the AGM on June 18, get onto the executive committee and, last but not least, come up with suggestions for a new home. "We in the office are very optimistic," says its latest newsletter. "After all, we did survive the foul destruction of the ILEA." For London Drama membership details, ring 0171 405 4519.

Freestyle, the South West Theatre Consortium Young Writers' Scheme, is looking for 14 to 25-year-olds who have written or want to write a play. Participants will have their work presented as part of a Festival of New Work later in the year. For more details, ring Mark Laville at the Barbican Theatre, Plymouth, on 01752 267131.

An Irish dream Blue Raincoat Theatre Company from Sligo makes its London premiere with its highly physical production of A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Riverside Studios, Hammersmith, from May 20 to June 1. For bookings, ring 0181 741 2255.

If you haven't seen it already, there's another chance to catch the Little Angel Puppet Theatre's production of Oliver Goldsmith's The Prince and the Mouse, directed by Ronnie le Drew. Witty and compelling, it is a production that will enchant accompanying adults as much as the kids. It runs every Saturday and Sunday until June 15 at 3pm. Bookings on 0171 226 1787.

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