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THEATRE REVIEW: Chekhov’s ‘The Seagull’ (Hemar Theatre) at Ognisko Polskie

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Ognisko Polskie, the Polish Hearth Club, is an exquisite venue: glistening chandeliers please the eye, red velvet lines the elegant staircases; this quiet haven in South Kensington is full of Old World charm. Last Saturday night, a traditional version of Chekhov’s play The Seagull was produced here. Set on a lake estate in Imperial Russia,…

Andreea Scridon | February 12, 2017
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THEATRE REVIEW: Chekhov’s ‘Three Sisters’ at the Union Theatre – simplified production deserves the benefit of the doubt

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Tracy Letts’ adaptation of Chekhov’s 1900 play – directed by Phil Wilmott – gives an English, deadpan intonation to Russian humor. The expansive, often ironic comedy characteristic of Chekhov’s plays persists even though Letts has cut and altered considerable portions of the original text. The layout of the Union Theatre in Southwark, which has the…

Andreea Scridon | January 27, 2017
A typical Ceausescu -era housing block. FOTO:FORTEPAN / Urbán Tamás

DOCUMENTARY REVIEW: ‘The Block’ (Șalaru, 2016) – a tantalising glimpse behind the Romanian Facade

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A screening and discussion of Maria Șalaru’s debut documentary Blocul (The Block) took place at the Romanian Cultural Centre on 8 December 2016. Șalaru, a PhD candidate of Social and Cultural Anthropology at Oxford, gave a brief presentation of what her documentary – an ethnography of a communist-built housing block, so common in Romania – attempts…

Andreea Scridon | December 16, 2016
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A “Poem” for the Romanian Verse: an inspiring introduction to 1980s Romanian poetry

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‘It is always inspiring to look at a single decade of a single country and realize how absolutely varied it is’ – Sean Shibe, guitarist A panel discussion was held at the Romanian Cultural Institute regarding the new edition of ‘Poem’ magazine that consists of translated Romanian poetry. The magazine’s prolific founder, Fiona Sampson, was…

Andreea Scridon | December 5, 2016
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MADE IN PRAGUE PREVIEW: ‘Always Together’ (Tomanová, 2014) – stoic and humane portrait of an alternative lifestyle, that does not go far enough

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Eva Tomanová’s documentary Always Together (2014) offers a glimpse into the strange life of an unconventional family with nine children, living in what amounts to an immense improvised treehouse in the shadow of a remote mountain, and migrating to Spain like a flock of birds each year. The most interesting figure in the film is…

Andreea Scridon | November 22, 2016
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CONCERT REVIEW: ‘Jazz from the Playing Card Factory’ – Sorin Zlat and his Trio

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Jazz certainly isn’t the type of music that would come to mind for most people on hearing the names ‘Rimbaud’ and ‘Verlaine’. This feeling of surprise persisted throughout the duration of the evening at Kings Place, with Sorin Zlat as composer and pianist, Andrew Trim on the drums and Michele Montolli on the bass. There…

Andreea Scridon | October 17, 2016
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DANCE REVIEW: ‘L’OM DADA’ at Sadler’s Wells – an electric atmosphere of triumph

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A rocking chair and a wooden bench are illuminated in the dimness of the theatre. One man sits holding his head on the bench; the other reclines in the rocking chair with a sombre expression. They are Gigi Caciuleanu and Lari Giorgescu, both subtle and full of graceful power. Immediately, they enter into a strange,…

Andreea Scridon | September 30, 2016