Her Majesty The Queen will tonight (31 October 2002) attend a special charity performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber's blockbuster Bollywood musical, Bombay Dreams, at the West End's Apollo Victoria Theatre.

Also attending the gala event will be celebrities such as Sanjeev Bhaskar, Nigel Havers, Jodie Kidd, Nell McAndrew, Melinda Messenger and Angela Rippon. With tickets costing £125 each, the event, sponsored by BHS, is being held in aid of British Red Cross, which the Queen is patron of. The charity has been working closely with Indian Red Cross on a number of disaster preparedness and reconstruction projects following last year's earthquake in the Indian state of Gujarat.

Bombay Dreams is a love story set around the £750 million Bollywood film industry. It has a score by Indian composer AR Rahman, a book by British actress, comedian and novelist Meera Syal, and English song lyrics by Don Black. The musical is directed by Steven Pimlott and designed by Mark Thompson, with choreography by Anthony Van Laast and Bollywood sequences by Farah Kahn. Musical supervision is by Christopher Nightingale.

Meanwhile, Her Majesty's Theatre, home of Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera, will host a special evening about The Great War on Sunday 10 November. Proceeds from tickets for the Some Desperate Glory event (flyer pictured) will raise money for The Thiepval Visitor Centre at the Somme.

The evening will include: poetry and prose written by the likes of Vera Britten, Rudyard Kipling, AA Milne and Wilfred Owen and performed by a number of leading actors such as Samuel West, Jim Broadbent, Ciaran Hinds, Jane Lapotaire and Saeed Jaffrey; a screening of the film War Game based on the book by Michael Foreman; and music performed by Coope, Boyes and Simpson, the acappella trio known for their First World War arrangements.

The planned Thiepval Visitor Centre will explain what happened in 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. Brief historical information about this significant event, which had such an effect on so many British communities, will help visitors understand what happened in the area around the great Lutyens Memorial to the missing: the more than 72,000 men whose lives were lost and whose bodies were never found.

Tickets for Some Desperate Glory range from £10 to £25. For more information, call 0870 890 0515.

- by Terri Paddock