The next few weeks see several one-off events that should be of interest to anyone who appreciates the consummate craft of classical stage actors. At the National Theatre, as part of its ongoing Platform series, Saskia Reeves, Simon Callow and David Oyelowo recall their past experiences in preparing for acclaimed performances as, respectively, Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing, Falstaff in Orson Welles' Chimes at Midnight (drawn from Henry IV, Parts I and II) and Henry IV. Perhaps most notably, Oyelowo made history for the last, being cast as the first black actor to play an English monarch for the Royal Shakespeare Company - at the time, just two years out of drama school no less! The Platforms, which tie in with Faber & Faber's fascinating Actors on Shakespeare series of texts, take place on 10 July, 11 July and 1 August; all at 6.00pm, with tickets priced £3.50. Meanwhile, get your skates on this week if you want to see Patrick Stewart - the man who flits effortlessly between Star Trek and X-Men on screen and, now in the West End, Ibsen's The Master Builder on stage - sharing thoughts on his art. He's giving a Masterclass at the Theatre Royal Haymarket this Wednesday 2 July 2003 at 2.30pm. For more info, check out the Haymarket website.