Onoff stage

27th June 1997 at 01:00
The nationwide celebration of youth theatre, BT National Connections, is about to hit the National Theatre with its heady mix of youthful energy, strong writing and the most responsive atmosphere this side of the European Cup.

The 145 participating youth theatre companies have already taken part in showcases in 12 regional theatres. Now, one production of each of the 12 specially commissioned plays by writers including Simon Armitage, Liz Lochhead and Wole Soyinka will take to the National's Cottesloe and Olivier stages. Young people from places as far apart as the Isle of Skye, Belfast and inner-city south London will be taking part in the productions.

Come and see the results for yourself in what promises to be an enjoyable and uplifting event. Two plays will be performed each night from July 9 to 15 at the National Theatre. Ring the box office for bookings on 0171 928 2252. All 12 plays, plus interviews with the authors and production notes, are being published as New Connections: New Plays for Young People by Faber and Faber on July 7.

You've seen the movie, you've read the book, you've watched it on the telly. Now, see Robin Hood tread the boards in a new version of the medieval legend, Robin the Hood. In this Classworks Theatre production a troupe of travelling players involve young audiences in creating their own local legends, using circus skills, quarterstaff fighting, dance and music. The play is geared to children aged five to 12, and tours Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk until the end of July. For more details, ring Classworks Theatre on 01223 461901.

The Globe Theatre's education department has a full schedule of events throughout the summer. Every Saturday, it runs Globe Walkshops, starting from the Globe Exhibition, New Globe Walk, at 10am and lasting about two hours. An actor leads you on an exploration of the theatre's history, visiting various places of interest on Bankside.

From June 28 to mid-September, the Education Centre is running Saturday afternoon workshops on Henry V and The Winter's Tale for eight to 11-year-olds. The sessions offer participants an active introduction to the play.

For full details and for bookings, ring Globe Education on 0171 620 0202. To join the schools network, Globelink, phone Fiona Banks on the same number. For Pounds 20 a year, members get a pack of information, free copies of Around the Globe magazine, and news about events and workshops.

The Cheddar Valley is preparing to celebrate 21 years of comprehensive education. Under the umbrella of the Community Education Service, its first ever arts festival is being run from July 4 to 6 at the Kings of Wessex Community School. Community groups and schools from the area will give music, dance and theatre performances, as will professional performers. Artists in residence will work with schools to create anthologies, sculptures and paintings, which will be put on display. For more information, ring Sue Purkiss on 01934 743693 or Holly Cole on 01934 713392.

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