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Theatre amp; Education;Children's books amp; arts

With new statistics out showing that Britain leads Europe in teenage pregnancies, Loud Mouth Theatre Company's new play, Trust Me, is timely. Particularly as it happens that the West Midlands, where Loud Mouth is based and tours, is in the top 12 of British regions for teenage pregnancy.

Loud Mouth's brand of interactive, adolescent-centred theatre, backed up with a workshop, teachers' notes and a schools pack, attempts to bridge the credibility gap that dogs sex education in schools. Designed for Years 9 and 10 pupils, it explores young people's difficulties in using contraception through the experiences of a young girl and boy who get swept up in the heat of the moment. Loud Mouth tours Trust Me until the beginning of June and then again next autumn. For more information, contact the company on 0121 446 4880.

Spectacle Theatre, the Cardiff-based bilingual Welsh and English company, is touring Wedi'r Haf by Ian Staples, a Welsh language production that examines peer pressure and bullying, from June 3 to July 4. Specially commmissioned, the theatre in education programme for Years 6 and 7 will draw on pupils' experiences of the move from primary to secondary. Contact Spectacle on 01443 430 700.

Beowulf the Dragon Slayer is Polka Theatre's new production, running from April 23 to June 6. The award winning play by Christopher Sandford was first seen at the Polka nine years ago and brings to life one of the oldest English poems through storytelling and giant puppets. It is designed for children aged eight and up. Polka: 0181 543 4888.

Open Stages 1998 is a series of workshops, training programmes and performances organised by the Theatre in Prisons and Probation (TIPP) Centre based at Manchester University's department of drama from May 18 until June 17. Subjects covered will include at-risk youth, drama for health, and theatre for social responsibility. It is aimed at anyone who does drama in group work. Included in the events is a workshop on May 20 run by Fiona Macbeth exploring drama with young people in care. Participants in the workshop will look at how to deal with challenging behaviour while retaining excitement for young people. Another session, a two-day course for anyone working with groups about drugs, takes place on June 1 and 2. Details: 0161 275 3877.

Reva Klein

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