Central Europe Review: politics, society and culture in Central and Eastern Europe
Vol 1, No 9, 23 August 1999

E V E N T S:
Coming Up in the UK

Andrew J Horton

Details of selected Central and East European cultural events in the UK over the next few weeks, including angelic sounds from Bulgaria; love in an elevator - Bosnian style; Czech rent boys; 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.

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 CER!

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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

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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.

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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.

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Czech Events


Rough Trade at the Lux
Lux Cinema, 2-4 Hoxton Square, London N1 6NU
Tel: 020 7684 0201

"A lot can be bought for the price of a cinema ticket if you know where to get it" starts the Lux's blurb for their Rough Trade series of films on men who sell their bodies. Most of the films are American with classics such as Gus Van Sant's My Own Private Idaho and John Schlesinger's Midnight Cowboy, the only x-rated film to have won an Oscar. Three of the ten films, however, take us to the seedy back-streets of Prague. Scraping off the thin veneer of Europe's most beautiful city, Wiktor Grodecki exposes the exploitation festering underneath in three films: two documentaries and a later feature film that was based on his hard-hitting investigations.

Mandragora (1997)
20-22 August 1999, 6.30 + 9pm Click here for Kinoeye's review of this feature film.

Body Without Soul, documentary (1996)
26 August 1999, 9pm

Not Angels but Angels, documentary (1994)
27 August1999, 9pm


Hommage a Jiri: 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.

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Hungarian Events


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.


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.

...And More Hungarian Culture in the UK

Check out the website of the Hungarian Cultural Centre in London. As well as listing events of international importance, the site also carries details of their support network for Hungarian au pairs working in the UK and Catholic mass in Hungarian.

Look here if you want to see a full calendar of Hungarian events in the UK.

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Polish Events


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, 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.

...And More Polish Culture in the UK

Check out the website of the Polish Cultural Institute in London.

Look here if you want to see a full calendar of Polish events in the UK.

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Romanian Events


The History of Pandas Told by a Saxophonist with a Girlfriend in Frankfurt
17 August - 12 September 1999, Tues - Sat 8pm, Sun 5pm
Baron's Court Theatre, The Curtain's Up, 28a Comeragh Road, London W14
Tel:0181 932 4747

Matei Visniec's award-winning play, given its UK premiere by the Blue Orange Theatre Company, is a taste of the poetically absurd. The performance of Mon 6 Sept 1999 will be in aid of Art-Inter Romania, which supports an orphanage for HIV positive children near Bucharest.

ION by the Hard and Fast Theatre Company
5-29 August 1999 (not every day), 1.45pm
C Theatre, Over-Seas House, 100 Princes Street, Edinburgh
Tel: 0131 225 5105

"This terrifying vision of the future sees a Romanian boy delivered from conflict by an Enlgish professor. But is the reluctant relationship formed whilst searching for a solution amongst the atoms too great a price to pay for freedom?"

...And More Romanian Culture in the UK

There is the website of the Romanian Cultural Centre based in London. Click here if you want to see a their diary page.

If you are a Romanian academic or student working in the UK or have links to Romanian studies you might be interested Romanul's site. It aims to give wider support to educational, scientific and cultural issues and has pages devoted to the Romanian community's acitivities in the UK. Click here to have a look.

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Russian (and Eurasian) Events


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.


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.

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.

The Lower Depths
24 - 27 Aug 1999
The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

Dutch production of Maxim Gorky's play described as "bizarre, touching, terribly comic and so sad it makes you cry".

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Compiled by Andrew J Horton





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