Vol 1, No 1, 28 June 1999

O N   D I S P L A Y :
Coming Up in the UK

By Andrew J Horton

Details of selected Central and East European cultural events in the UK over the next few weeks, including your last chance to catch "St Petersburg: Romance and Revolutuion", which winds down this week; angelic sounds from Bulgaria; love in an elevator - Bosnian style; a puppet-performed contemporary Hungarian opera; and highlights of the forthcoming Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

In this week's Coming Up section we have:

Click on the appropiate heading or just scroll down to browse.

St Petersburg:
Romance and Revolution

Finishes 30 June 1999
Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS.
Phone 0171 638 8891

Embracing art, music, cinema and literature, this season explores the cultural attractions of one of the world's most alluring cities, concentrating on the years leading up to and just after the 1917 revolution. The season coincides with the bi-centenary of Pushkin's birth and includes readings of his work and operatic and cinematic adaptations.

Also well represented is the early Soviet avant-garde. For music lovers there are works by Shostakovich - in rebellious form with his opera Lady Macbeth of Mtensk - and some of his lesser known (but no less innovative) compatriots, such as Roslavets, Mosolov, Lourie; and Ustvolskaya. Amongst the film series there is a great opportunity to see silent masterpieces from the pre-revolutionary era and more familiar giants such as Eisenstein, Kozintsev and Pudovkin. (Russian cinema events at other venues are listed below.)

For those who appreciate the visual arts, there is "New Art for a New Era", an exhibition of revolutionary works from the State Russian Museum in St Petersburg. Also highly recommended is Victory over the Sun, a reconstructed futurist opera using original designs by arch-modernist Kazimir Malevich.

See this week's and last week's ENP for reviews. More will also appear in the forthcoming Central Europe Review.

Click here for more details and a full program of events.

Back Up!

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival

In 1947, the Edinburgh International Festival was formed with the idea of an international arts festival helping to bring about peace to a Europe still recovering from war. The concept may sound idealist but it must have resonated at the time, because 8 theatre companies turned up uninvited and, playing at hastily arranged venues, they cashed in the success of the official festival. The trend continued the following year and the phenomenon of the uninvited guests was labeled the Fringe Festival. Today the proportions of the Fringe, held every August, are staggering, with over 500 theatre, dance and music groups from all over the world performing 1,643 shows with 14,108 seperate showings. And that's on top of the events connected with the official festival.

Full details can be found on the Fringe website, which has details of performances, venues, times, prices and even a map of Edinburgh to help you find your performance. Their site also usefully has a search engine which enables you to search by performer, title, country or venue

The listings below contain some of the Fringe events, covering performers hailing from Siberia to Bosnia and most places in between. For full details click on the links to the Fringe's own pages. Eulogies copied from the Fringe's blurb appear in quotes and are by no means always endorsed by ENP!

Back Up!

Gyorgy Kurtag

Kurtag has emerged in recent years as one of Hungary's foremost contemporary composers. The Edinburgh Festival and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival honour him in a series of concerts and events.


Concert including Kurtag's music (Hommage a R Sch and Jelek)
24 Aug 1999, 11.00am
The Queens Hall, Clerk Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9JG
Phone: 0131 473 2000

An Evening of Gyorgy Kurtag's Music
28 Aug 1999, 7.30pm
The Queens Hall, Clerk Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9JG
Phone: 0131 473 2000

The Sayings of Peter Bornemisza by Gyorgy Kurtag
29 Aug 1999, 3pm
The Queens Hall, Clerk Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9JG
Phone: 0131 473 2000

Concert including Kurtag's music (Stele)
29 Aug 1999, 8pm
Usher Hall, Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EHI 2EA
Phone: 0131 473 2000

Concert including Kurtag's music (Grabstein fur Stephan)
3 Sept 1999, 8pm
Usher Hall, Lothian Rd, Edinburgh EHI 2EA
Phone: 0131 473 2000


The Music of Gyorgy Kurtag (by Rachel Beckles Wilson)
27 Aug 1999, 1.05pm
The Queens Hall, Clerk Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9JG
Phone: 0131 473 2000

Conversations (with Kurtag himself)
27 Aug 1999, 5pm
Edinburgh Festival Theatre, 13-29 Nicholson Street,
Edinburgh, EH8 JG
Phone: 0131 473 2000

Back Up!

Bosnian Events

Secrets - Nomad Dance Company
16 - 21 Aug 1999, 2pm
St Mary's Cathedral, Palmerstone Place, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 557 0707

"An Islamic woman and a Western man are suspended together in an elevator shaft in London, unwitting pawns in a terrorists game. Their own battles over faith, trust and elevator music reach acrobatic heights. Spectacular Dance." Click here for more information.

Back Up!

Bulgarian Events

The Bulgarian Voices: Angelite
Various times, various venues, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 557 8330

Internationally acclaimed female choir. "...the most unearthly, beautiful, eerie, joyous sounds the voice can make" (Guardian). A highly recommended series of shows which will undoubtedly sell out. Pounce soon. Click here for more information.

"Fly, Fly my Sadness": Huun Huur Tu, Angelite, Moscow Art Duo
24 - 30 Aug, various times
Graffiti Cafe, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 557 8330

"Final performances of a five year world adventure. Incredible visionary musical collaboration. Beyond anything ever heard." Intriguing Russo-Bulgarian mixed bill. Click here for more information.

Back Up!

Croatian Events

Croatian Theatrical Triple Bills
18,19,21 Aug 1999, various times
Theatre Workshop, 34 Hamilton Place, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 226 5425

Three of Croatia's top theatre companies in repertory with a different combination of shows presented each day. Includes a world premiere.Click here for more information.

Back Up!

Czech Events

Hommage a Jiri Kolar: Czech Collage of the 80s and 90s
24 June – 2 Sept 1999
The Czech Centre, 95 Great Portland Street, London, W1N 5RA
Phone: 0171 291 9929

Picture poet Kolar's latest work presented in the context of other prominent collage artists.

…and more Czech Culture in London

The Czech Cultural Centre in London has just gone electronic! Look here if you want to see a full calendar of Czech related events in London.

Back Up!

Hungarian Events


Simon Magus (1999)

30 June 1999
Hungarian Trade Commission, 46 Eaton Place, London, SW1
Phone: 0171 235 3264

A British premiere for the Hungarian film club. Following their recent successful screening of Jancso's latest dark masterpiece, they are showing another film which was awarded at this year's Hungarian Film Week, this one picking up the Best Director award for Ildiko Enyedi. Click here for Kinoeye's review. Admission free but advance booking required.


Turul - Grotesque Myth of a Plucked Angle
Mon 16 Aug 16 - Sat 21 Aug, 8pm
St Mary's Cathedral, Palmerstone Place, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 557 0707

"Hungarian company Artus' incomparable talent lies in its East European poetic language. The absurdity of scenes obeys the logic of dreams, surrealistic images connect dark humour with audacious fantasy. Awarded and played worldwide." Click here for more information.


Ando Drom
9 -12 Aug 1999, 12.30am (!)
Famous Grousehouse, 5 Chambers Street, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 220 5606

"Award winning, renowned Gypsy music group, topping World-Music charts and spreading fantastically frenetic folklore throughout Europe. Compared to the Gypsy Kings and Loyko." Highly recommended. Click here for more information.

Kati Szvorak and the Water Carriers
16 – 19 Aug 1999, 12:20am (!)
Famous Grousehouse, 5 Chambers Street, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 220 5606

Folk, jazz and world music described as"beautiful material with a Balkan edge, pretty wonderful stuff" by Folk Roots playing into the early hours. Click here for more information.

Kalman Balogh: Romano Kokalo
18 -24 Aug 1999, various times
Cafe Graffiti, Edinburgh
Phone:0131 557 8330

"9 piece Hungarian Gypsy Cymbalom band playing a wide range of wonderful music - traditional, flamenco, jazz... perfect!" Click here for more information.


Marriage of Kocsonya Mihaly
16 - 21 Aug 1999, 8pm
St Mary's Cathedral, Palmerstone Place, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 557 0707

"The modern opera company, Kolibri presents this one-act opera. A 17th-century masterpiece using exciting and innovative, man-sized puppets. The contemporary music has been especially composed and is heavily influenced in its style by Hungarian folk traditions." Click here for more information.


The Scottish Poetry Library Presents: The Poetry of Hungary
13 Aug 1999, 3pm
St Cecilia's Hall, Cowgate, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 557 2876

With guests Zsuzsa Rakovszky, Gyozo Ferencz and George Szirtes. Music and song. Click here for more information.


6 –29 Aug 1999, 8pm
Famous Grousehouse, 5 Chambers Street, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 220 8606

An English language performance of Mihaly Babits's play by the Hungarian Merlin Theatre group as part of Edinburgh's Fringe Festival.Suicidal macho pride kills King Protesilaos in Trojan War. Lusting widow Laodamia begs the gods for his ghost's return. Her gruesome wish is granted but for three hours only. Click here for more information.

Back Up!

Polish Events


Smierc jak kromka chleba (Death Like a Slice of Bread)
6 July 1999, 6.30pm
Polish Cultural Institute, 34 Portland Place, London W1N 4HQ
Phone: 0171 636 6032

The third of a series of three films celebrating the 70th birthday of the well-awarded Kazimierz Kutz. This story is based one of one of the strikes which heralded the introduction of martial law in Poland. The film is free but phone or e-mail to reserve your seat.

Three Colours Triple Bill
4 July 1999, 4.30pm
Riverside Studios, 65 Crisp Road, London, W6
Phone 0181 237 1111

Krzysztof Kiewslowski's highly acclaimed trilogy on liberty, equality and fraternity on show together at one of London's more imaginatively programmed cinemas.


The Light - Magapar
8 - 14 Aug 1999, 7pm
Grindlay Court Centre, Grindlay Street
Phone: 0131 221 9009

"Based on the myth of Prometheus, performed by 16-17 year olds who have given up words for language of the body. Theatre of light and illusion traversing the boundaries between childhood/ maturity, truth/ illusion - revealing man's quest for a perfect place on Earth." Click here for more information.


The Upside Down Sailor
2 July 1999, 7.30pm
Great Hall, Bishopsgate Hall, 230 Bishopsgate, London, EC2
Phone: 0171 377 0540

Music by Roxanna Panufnik, libretto by Richard Stilgoe. Part of the City of London Festival.


Carmen Funebre (Funeral Song)
13 Aug 1999, 10pm
The Quad, University Old College Quad, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 667 8740

"Tragic testimonies from Bosnian war victims inspired this astonishing anti-war show which won The Scotsman Hamada Prize in 1996. A unique outdoor performance in aid of Amnesty International's work with Kosovo refugees." Click here for more information.

Drink Vinegar Gentlemen
23 - 29 Aug 1999 (not every day), various times
Theatre Workshop, Hamilton Place, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 226 5425

After Teatr Biuro Podrozy's 1996 Fringe success (see above), the group reveal their versatility with this new show inspired by a short (less than 200 words) story by persecuted Russian satirist and master of the absurd Daniil Kharms. Already it has received a top Polish award. Click here for more information.

Back Up!

Russian (and Eurasian) Events

Tarkovsky Mini Retrospective

ICA Cinema, The Mall, London, SW1
Phone: 0171 930 3647

Two of this cult Russian director's most famous films round out the retrospective this week.

Stalker (1978) 25 June – 1 July 1999, 5.45pm

Rot and decay in Russia. More multilayered cinema from the director's director.

Soliaris (1969-72)
25 June – 1 July 1999, 8.45pm

A philosophical tale of a space mission going fatally wrong, made around the same time and independently of Kubrick's 2001: A Space Oddessy, to which it is often compared.

Other Russian Cinema Events

Sluzhebniy Roman (Office Affair)
Thurs 15 July 1999, 7.30pm
Cine Lumiere, Institut Francais, 17 Queensberry Place, London, SW7.
Phone: 0181 881 9463 or e-mail

Another meeting of the monthly Russian film club Kino-Kino, this time showing a film by Eldar Ryazanov with household names of Russian cinema Alisa Friendlih and Andrei Myagkov in starring roles in this romantic drama. Kino-Kino claim this film is about to be remade for Hollywood and invite you to "come and see the real thing".


Moorland - Evgueni Panfilov's Ballet
Continental Shifts at St Brides, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 346 1405

"Physical In the aspiration to the World Spirit, you see the spiritual substance in the uncovered bloody flesh the unity of human substance ascending to Death. The choreographer transfers the national worldly drama into the crystal of the world tragedy." Click here for more information.


6 - 7, 10 - 16, 21 - 30 Aug 1999, 10.30pm
Cafe Graffiti, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 557 8330

"Highly original, brilliant, driving five piece fusion jazz/folk/rock band fronted by charismatic singer Inna Zhelannaya. Unbelievable!" Click here for more information.

Loyko: The Russian Gypsy Band
11 Aug 1999, 7.30pm
Graffiti Cafe, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 557 8330

Click here for more information.

13 - 30 Aug 1998 (not every day), various times
Cafe Graffiti, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 557 8330

"Two astonishing solo singers, Pelageya (12, Siberia) and Katya Chilly (18, Ukraine) with their band, astonish, delight, exhilarate, amaze!" Click here for more information.

Eurasian Guitars: Two Virtuosos
Various dates, various times
Cafe Graffiti + Greyfriars Kirk House, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 557 8330

"Solo electric guitarist, Crimean Tartar, Enver Izmailov creates incredible musical universe. Ivan Smirnov Trio: acoustic guitar and accompanists - powerful delivery, total mastery, passion and poetry. Both world class." Click here for more information.


Mozart & Salieri Ulysses Theatre Company
18 - 24 Aug 1999 (not every day), 12.25pm
Greyfriars Kirk House, Edinburgh
Phone: 0131 225 3626

"Why did Mozart perish? Did Salieri poison him? Who was the man in black who commissioned the Requiem? Two actors - Scottish and Russian - desperately and selflessly play Pushkin's Little Tragedy as an unexpected version of Superstar Amadeus's mysterious death." Click here for more information.

Pushkin on the Moon Ulysses Theatre Company
20 - 28 Aug 1999 (not every day), 1.30pm
Greyfriars Kirk House, Edinburgh.
Phone: 0131 225 3626

"A troupe of wandering actor clowns perform a farce. The great Russian poet's spirit doesn't come alone... Masks images people puppets fairytales mysticism transform into a joyous carnival of love and dance of death." Click here for more information.

Back Up!

Compiled by Andrew J Horton






Baltic States
Czech Republic


Hungary Counts
the Costs of War

Schuster's Slovakia

The Great
Czech Malaise

The Rise of
Tartu, Estonia

NATO Will Crack
in Kosova

Serb Proposals for
Partitioning Kosova

Faults in the Balkan
Stability Pact

Hope for Russia's
Capital Markets


Central Europe

Lateral Thinking on
Central Europe


Book Shop


Crushed by Stalin

Music Shop


Central European
Culture in the UK


Festival Report:
Karlovy Vary

The Russian Soul:
Lutsik's Okraina


Transitions Online
Watch for their
relaunch on 19 July.


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