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Věra Chytilová Festival: ‘Fruit of Paradise’ (1969) reviewed by Depo Olukotun

Věra Chytilová’s 1969 film The Fruit of Paradise (Ovoce stromu rajských jíme) is a Czech avant-garde interpretation of the Biblical Expulsion from Eden. Chytilová in her cinematic experiment – which raised a political storm on its release and gained her a cult following – puts female desire at the centre of a modern tryst between…

Depo Olukotun | 09/03/2015
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Jan Kott Our Contemporary: Contexts, Legacies, New Perspectives – reviewed by Valenka Navea


‘Shamanistic charlatanism!’ ‘A pernicious influence on Peter Brook!’ Like a Greek chorus the accusations flung at Polish critic Jan Kott when his ground-breaking book ‘Shakespeare Our Contemporary’ exploded onto the international theatre scene in 1964 were almost apocalyptic in their virulence. Which begs the question – why the need for an all-day conference on Jan…

Valenka Navea | 01/03/2015
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‘Songs of Lear’ at the BAC reviewed by Valenka Navea


In the wake of last week’s conference at the Rose Theatre Kingston on  Shakespeare Our Contemporary, Jan Kott’s mouldbreaking 1964 book which juxtaposed the Bard with Ionesco, Beckett and post-war political reality, comes Polish company Song of the Goat’s Songs of Lear. The show, we’re told, will bring ‘to life the subtle energies and rhythms…

Valenka Navea | 01/03/2015
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Sergei Loznitsa’s Maidan (2014), reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt


If you’ve read a newspaper, browsed the internet or watched television in the last twelve months, it’s unlikely you’ll have failed to hear the dreadful news emanating from Ukraine. The civil war that broke out in the east there, following Russia’s annexation of the Crimean peninsular in March last year,  has claimed over 5000 lives…

Jonathan Karstadt | 26/02/2015

Florin Piersic Jr’s ‘Freak Show’ reviewed by Camelia Ciobanu


Humanity is by no means short of afflictions and artists never tire of exposing them. One of these exposés is Florin Piersic jr.’s latest theatre project Freak Show, which has just made it to London’s West End. The play is in Romanian, and is the ultimate one-man show –  written, directed and acted by Piersic…

Camelia Ciobanu | 02/02/2015
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‘Ida’ (Pawlikowski, 2013) at Ognisko Kinoclub reviewed by Patricia Manos


There are many reasons to see  Pawel Pawlikowski’s Ida (2013) aside from the impressive list of awards and nominations attached to it, and the lead performance is one of them. It must be difficult to give substance to a character with so little dialogue, but Agata Trzebuchowska conveys the reticence and awkwardness of the main…

Patricia Manos | 26/01/2015
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Serbian Month 2015: ‘(un)decorated’ reviewed by Jo Varney


(Un)decorated  is the opening event from the seventh ‘Serbian Month in Great Britain′, which this year runs between 13 January and 28 February. It’s a drama set on the Balkan front in 1915, and at its heart are the stories of three women:  British adventuress Flora Sandes (1876—1956);  Serbian shepherdess-turned-fighter Milunka Savić (1890—1973) and the…

Jo Varney | 19/01/2015
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‘Sofia’s Last Ambulance’ (Metek, 2012) reviewed by Depo Olukotun


Sofia’s Last Ambulance, Bulgarian director Ilian Metev’s 2012 documentary about a battle-hardened crew of paramedics, has ‘grit’ written all over it. The Bulgarian capital Sofia, the accompanying text informs us, has in a city of 1.2 million just one ambulance to every 92,500 people. The anticipation grows when you read the film was a winner…

Depo Olukotun | 02/01/2015

Tena Štivičić’s ‘3 Winters’ at the Royal National Theatre, reviewed by Evgeniya Yarkova


3 Winters at the Royal National Theatre tells the 60-year story of a Croatian family living in Zagreb. Written by Croatian Tena Štivičić, it’s her first play shown at the National, her previous works having brought her recognition across Europe and numerous awards. In 2006 Štivičić was included into the Royal Court’s list of 50 most…

Evgeniya Yarkova | 19/12/2014