Looking ahead to summer, the Cape Town Opera will be touring its acclaimed version of the Gershwin classic Porgy and Bess. Relocated to Soweto, the company’s gifted singers will bring such classics as Summertime, It Ain’t Necessarily So and I Loves You Porgy to a new generation. Written in 1935, the love story of Porgy and Bess is modernised as the pair seek happiness amid the poverty and hardship in the ravaged Cape Town township. The company also makes its debut European performances of the Mandela Trilogy at Wales Millennium Centre, a musical tribute to the life of the former South African leader. Theatres welcoming the Cape Town Opera are Birmingham, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Canterbury and Southampton and the London Coliseum. Visit their websites for more details.

The academy of Children’s Writers is organising it’s 27th annual Write A Story for Children competition. This is now recognised as one of the most prestigious for unpublished writers. The top prize is £2,000. Entries may be no longer than 2,000 words. Closing date is March 31st. For further details, check out the website www.childrens-writers.co.uk, and dust down that manuscript!

Ink Pellet reader and Head of English, Neil Bowen, has launched an online literature forum called peripeteia. The aim of the project is to promote literary discussion between students, teachers, academics and writers from
different institutions. The site now has about 200 members, including academics and students from India, the USA, Algeria and Scotland. Every month Neil, who teaches at Wells Cathedral School, runs online seminars run by distinguished academics. These include Frankenstein, convened by Dr Mariadele Boccardi of UWE. As new members join, the seminar programme is expanding. The current programme for this academic year can be found at peripeteia.webs.com. Brilliant idea!

For serious art lovers (or those with great imaginations) the Eykyn Maclean in London is hosting a collection of Cy Twombly works from the Sonnabend Collection(www.eykynmaclean.com). I love the Bacchus pieces in Tate Modern. Just don’t get this era of his work at all. Sorry.