Theatregoers are invited to go behind the scenes and join ‘open rehearsals’ at London’s top cultural venues - including the Royal Court, the Barbican, the Royal Albert Hall, the Lyric Hammersmith, English National Opera, London Symphony Orchestra, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Globe – from today (29 September) until Sunday 1 October 2006. The series of events enables visitors to experience what really goes on behind the scenes in the capital's theatre, music, opera and dance venues, as the initiative is backed by the Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone. The event also helps launch the Listen Up! Festival of Orchestras, a collaboration between BBC Radio 3, the Association of British Orchestras and Making Music, which runs until 3 November 2006. All activities are free and participants can enjoy workshops in music, directing, acting, writing and singing. There’s an introduction to playwriting at the Royal Court led by playwright Chloe Moss and director Emily McLaughlin; a How to Hug Trees workshop for children about props and costume-making at the Lyric Hammersmith, as well as the chance to watch rehearsals of Watership Down and a post-show Q&A with the cast of Metamorphosis; and an open rehearsal of The Marriage of Figaro (the play, not the opera) at the New Players Theatre. Livingstone said: “London offers a fantastic range of music, dance and theatre. Open Rehearsal is an exciting and unique opportunity for Londoners and the capital's visitors to get under the skin of some of the finest cultural organisations in the world.” For more information about the Open Rehearsal events, visit