Shaolin warriors from the Chinese State Circus took part in a children's workshop at the Beck Theatre last week, to launch a scheme offering free theatre tickets.

A Night Less Ordinary, an Arts Council scheme in association with Metro, will provide 618,000 free passes to under 26-year-olds, at more than 200 venues across England.

The Beck, in Grange Road, Hayes, will be welcoming young theatre enthusiasts at least one day per week until March 2011, subject to availability.

Hollie King, marketing assistant at the Beck, said: "A Night Less Ordinary will give young people the chance to book tickets for shows that they would not normally see.

"Hopefully the love of live drama, music, comedy and dance will carry on throughout their lives."

Moira Sinclair, executive director of Arts Council England, London, added: "We believe that the arts should lie at the heart of national life, and this scheme marks another important step in realising our ambitions.

"This scheme not only gives young people something different to do for one night - it offers the chance to develop the habit of a lifetime. Once experienced, the range and quality of the productions on offer will prove to be irresistible to future theatre goers."

* To apply for tickets and find out about performances, visit  or call 020 8561 8371. Find out more about the scheme at .