Wanted: Cute. Dark hair. Dark eyes. Preferably of Asian or Eurasian descent with a basic grasp of the English language. Must NOT suffer from stage fright. Well, if you think you fit this description - and you are four or five years old - you are welcome.

The Hong Kong production of Miss Saigon is now calling children across the SAR for its audition for the role of Tam this Sunday.

'It is not pre-registered but we have contacted several exclusive kindergartens in Kowloon Tong about the event. The response has been great,' an insider tells me.

'Among other criteria, the ideal candidate must be approximately 95 cm tall. It is very important that he or she must not get frightened on stage. We have had an incident in the past when the child got so scared he wet himself on stage . . . which was quite embarrassing.'

Tam is a non-speaking and non-singing part but he does have a few big scenes in which he is being hugged by his mother Kim (who will be played by Deedee Lynn Magno) and seen sleeping sweetly in bed. Darren Yap, the associate director of the Hong Kong production, will fly in from Sydney especially for this audition.

The audition will be held at Lyric Theatre, Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts (APA), from 11am.

Still on the subject of children, the programme line-up of this year's International Arts Carnival has just been announced. As diverse and rich as ever, the event will involve local, mainland and overseas theatre and arts groups from France, Japan, Korea, Britain, Canada and the United States. Among the biggest attractions for IAC 2001 is the Shaolin Warriors, who will appear in the 'Kung Fu and Acrobatic Wonders' programmes.

But surely there must be hundreds, if not thousands, of troupes in China who claim to have the Shaolin training. How do we know if they are the real thing? Event organiser, the Leisure and Cultural Services Department, is not taking any chances.

One senior official tells me: 'Our agent actually went to Shaolin and met up with the masters as well as representatives of the Hunan Provincial Government to authenticate the group. He will be going again to iron out the details.' IAC 2001, with performances from 20 ensembles, will run from mid-July to the end of August. For more information visit its Web site at or tel 2741 7914.

Legendary Cantonese opera film-star Pak Suet-sin, immortalised by her roles in classics such as Princess Chang Ping and The Purple Hairpin with on-screen partner Yam Kim-fai, has been named the recipient of the Hong Kong Film Award's lifetime achievement award this year. However, it is understood that the frail actress will not collect her statuette in person at the star-studded ceremony at the end of this month. It will be a double celebration for Pak as she will also be honoured with the Montblanc Arts Patronage Award.

A chance to rub shoulders with Hong Kong's movers and shakers - free. The APA and the Vienna Representative Office in Hong Kong are organising a concert with the 138-year-old Wiener Schubertbund Choir.

It was expected to be a relatively low-key affair - until the guest list arrived last week. Among those who are said to be attending on Monday include the retiring Chief Secretary Anson Chan Fang On-san, Secretary for Constitutional Affairs Michael Suen and chairman of the Liberal Party James Tien.

One mildly shocked APA officer says guests are welcome to mingle with these high-ranking officials.

The performance is free and will be held at the Academy Concert Hall at 7pm.