OnOff stage

15th September 1995 at 01:00
Happy 25th birthday to the Young Vic. Since Laurence Olivier and Frank Dunlop created it all those years ago, the determinedly ungrand theatre down the road from the Old Vic has had its triumphs and failures and has been the platform and spiritual home for great writers, directors and actors.

Since his highly acclaimed Grimm Tales last winter, new artistic director Tim Supple is on his feet after a shaky start and has put together a programme for the coming year that includes Jungle Book for Christmas and a spring production of The Misanthrope. In addition, a new aims document proposes the re-establishment of the theatre as "an attractive and accessible place where young people can see live performance".

"A unique and historical event" is how Age Exchange is describing the European Reminiscence Theatre Festival, entitled "A Time to Remember." Groups from eight former Allied and Axis countries, including the not terribly European Americans and Taiwanese will perform plays devised from memories of the war. The performers, aged 70 to 90, aim to reflect the social history of the war years. In addition to the performances, workshops facilitated by international directors will allow participants to take part in drama and music workshops. Public performances run from October 19 to 24. For more information, ring Age Exchange on 0181 318 9105.

Off Beat Theatre and Music has been set up by Camden People's Theatre, with assistance from the Prince's Trust and Camden Arts Services. The idea is to encourage young people to make theatre that reflects their lives and aspirations for themselves. The participants are mostly unemployed 18 to 25-year-olds, some of whom have little or no experience in the performing arts. The Grid, a futuristic musical piece about an alienated society set in London, can be seen at Camden People's Theatre, 58-60 Hampstead Road, NW1 (0171 916 5878) until September 23.

"New Inspirations: Nest of Spices" is an initiative developed by Tyneside Training and Enterprise Council to help young people develop a more positive outlook. Through the use of drama workshops which explore the history of Tyneside, young people will see, it is hoped, that changing industrial landscapes do not spell certain unemployment. A number of secondary schools have chosen to participate in the project, the workshops for which are being led by Northern Stage, which is also producing resource packs to support GCSE and vocational courses. An added bonus is the opportunity for both teachers and students to apply for placements with Northern Stage for experience in backstage and front of house work.

A new scheme launched today aims to attract young people in Sussex to go to the theatre. The Class Acts Card is a discount card, sponsored by Midland Bank, which gives the estimated 100,000 people aged 13 to 18 living in East and West Sussex savings on theatres and arts centres across the counties. Application forms will be available at participating theatres and branches of the bank.

"Coming On Strong" is the name of the collection of four plays by first-time writers produced at the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs last autumn. Published by Faber and Faber, three of the plays formed part of the Young Writers' Festival.

There are still a few places left on Globe Education's Romeo and Juliet Inset course on September 23. Ring Alastair Tallon for details on 0171 620 0202.

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