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The Independent Culture
Searching for a sponsor for their production of Lysistrata, Instant Classics came up with Femidom, the innovative female condom. The choice posed a bit of a challenge, however, when it came to product placement since Aristophanes' classic is about women who withdraw their favours. 'The basic principle of the play is that people don't have sex,' David Cottis, the director, says. 'So the only place we could put one was at the end.' Although contraceptives don't feature in the text, Cottis feels their appearance is in keeping with the spirit of the play - 'we're only making specific what was already there' - and the show will favour equality by featuring condoms as well: 'We wanted to mix'n'match,' Cottis says.

'Lysistrata' is at The White Bear, Kennington, London (071-735 8664).

Next week sees the opening of this year's Armchair Proms at the RSC's Barbican home. This popular annual fixture allows theatre-goers to see three productions (The Winter's Tale, Tamburlaine the Great and Travesties) at a fraction of the normal price. Every day, from Mon 8 Nov to Sat 13 Nov, 500 of the best stalls seats will be on sale from 8.30am priced pounds 6. Tickets from the Box Office, Level 5, Barbican Centre, London EC2 to personal callers only (max two Proms tickets per person).

At a press conference today (Wednesday) the Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith will unveil its plans to raise pounds 350,000 by next March, the sum needed to wipe out the theatre's deficit. The campaign, entitled 'Keep the Lyric Alive]', takes its cue from the successful battle to save the Young Vic which gained widespread support from the public and the theatre world alike. The Lyric hopes to raise the first pounds 50,000 this month to keep the theatre door's open. Watch this space for details of the campaign.

Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith, London W6 (081-741 2311).

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