London mayor Ken Livingstone’s Open Rehearsal scheme allows the public to go backstage and take a look at what makes London’s music, theatre, dance and opera world-famous. The event began last year and looks set to become an annual fixture in the performing arts calendar, along with West End Live and Kids Week. Among a range of activities (most of which are, thankfully, free) are backstage tours at the Royal Court, Sadler’s Wells, Lyric Hammersmith, National, Unicorn and the Old Vic theatres as well as many workshops going on all over the place for aspiring showbiz pros.

Get an Introduction to Playwriting at the Royal Court, go to an open rehearsal at the Central School of Ballet or take a class with the English National Ballet – whichever you prefer, or perhaps experience a rehearsal and preparations for a real live performance at the Theatre Royal Stratford East or the Barbican. Open Rehearsal runs from 27 September to 2 October 2007. For full details, go to