The Walk (ITV1), For One Night Only - Strictly Classroom! (ITV1): IF you're going to have a row with your husband or wife, don't do it in the middle of the Sahara desert in temperatures of 120 degrees Fahrenheit with a sandstorm blowing up and terrorists lurking behind the next sand dune.

It's also inadvisable to confess adultery in front of your fellow walkers on a charity trek. Bad for those taking part but good fun, in a malicious way, for viewers of The Walk.

Michael Chaplin's enjoyable drama took the old format of a group of people in jeopardy facing up to their troubles and applied it to a charity walk. The dozen walkers were a motley band whose worries and secrets bubbled to the surface under the heat of the sun. Christine was having an affair with her best friend's husband. A couple of Geordies were eyeing up the posh totty in the party. An ex-para was angry about something. And a fat lass from Selby was clearly not fit enough for the walk.

Christine, who was in remission from breast cancer, and Lawrence were spotted snogging in the dunes by his wife Karen. Needless to say, she chose the most inopportune moment to tell Christine's husband Eddie. I'd have been worried having Robin as team leader. He didn't look capable of leading a dog, let alone a walk across the desert. He was full of comments like: "We'll be crossing a dune field, it's going to get very hot," or: "The weather's changing and we still have a long way to go".

The confessions and revelations certainly took everyone's minds off the heat, water shortage and terrorists waiting to abduct them. Wisely, the makers spent the budget filming in Morocco rather than trying to make a sand pit in Surrey look like the Sahara. Director Mark Brozel made full use of the locations, conjuring up beautiful desert vistas. If all the personal dramas were nothing new, it was great to see them played out in a spectacular setting instead of the usual dull, damp British housing estate.

Strictly Classroom! also removed people from their familiar environment and put them under pressure in a foreign country. Ten members of staff, from a history and politics teacher to a school laundry operative, from Cheltenham Ladies' College went to the Moulin Rouge in Paris to train as can-can dancers.

The model for this programme was obviously a previous ITV1 documentary in which Geordie shipbuilders trained to be ballet dancers. The Cheltenham women had a more difficult time. Hardly surprising, as Janet Pharoah, the Moulin Rouge ballet mistress, admitted that a lot of dancers live in fear of the can-can. You can see why - the high kick involves getting your foot up past your ear and just watching dancers do the splits makes my eyes water.

The women found it hard to concentrate. Their teachers were forever telling them, "please can you stop talking". There was resistance too to looking like can-can dancers. Some balked at the idea of "turning ourselves into that sort of woman". Even if they didn't quite master the can-can, the Cheltenham ladies succeeded in the look through wigs, make-up and fishnet tights. "We're supposed to look like a bunch of tarts and we do," summed up one of them.

Trimming Pablo, The Studio,

York Theatre Royal

WRITER and director Dave Sheasby has taken the day that the most famous artist of the 20th century visited Yorkshire and turned it into a totally original piece of theatre. Fine Time Fontayne - fresh from starring in the Theatre Royal's sell-out production of Brassed Off - is a warm and natural storyteller as he switches from character to character in the story. Funnily enough, he never plays the focus of the story, Pablo Picasso. He's represented by a lifesize cardboard cut out, who's literally dragged into the proceedings to dance, have his hair cut and travel on a train. I have to admit that Fontayne is so persuasive that at times I forgot it wasn't real.

Sheasby was a schoolboy when the artist attended the Second World Peace congress in Sheffield in 1950, but never knew about the visit. He takes that sense of missing out as a framework for this one-man play. It's a remarkable piece of history, recorded in a photograph of the artist, wearing a blue beret and holding a bouquet of chrysanthemums, as he arrived at Sheffield railway station.

The play follows Picasso's day, including a trip to the barber's for a haircut and an encounter with a prostitute. Along the way, Fontayne gets to play all the people in the story, including a waiter on The Master Cutler train, teacher Ma Parker, and an MI5 agent hidden beneath the stage of the City Hall.

Steve Pratt

An Evening with David Crosby and Graham Nash, The Sage Gateshead

ANTI-war song Military Madness launched an explosive, crowd-pleasing set that proved the music legends have still got the ability to knock your socks off. From the outset, Crosby set the political stage, referring to 'No More War,' saying: "We always play that song first in Europe so you know WE didn't vote that chimpanzee in." With sweet harmonies that made them half of a 70s supergroup, they enchanted the crowd with hit after hit, each one with a meaningful message. Nash and Crosby sing with power and raw emotion, the former specialising in beautiful melodies; the latter, he admits "does the weird stuff". They are backed by an impressive band, who are given the freedom to do lengthy, wailing solos to showcase their talent, notably Dean Parks' lead guitar piece and Crosby's son James Raymond's keyboard section on Deja Vu.

Dressed casually, Nash bopped around like an uncle at a wedding; Crosby stood stoically sipping water. For the encore they encouraged the audience to sing along before leaving to a standing ovation and applause that stung the hands.

Gavin Havery

Published: ??/??/2004