'The Left Hander,' image by MARK ALLAN/BARBICAN

Mariinsky Opera’s ‘The Left-Hander’ at the Barbican, reviewed by Eugenia Ellanskaya


Conductor Valery Gergiev, composer Rodion Shchedrin and the Mariinsky Opera itself – these names have long been brands of quality and style in Russian theatre culture. The title of their latest production at the Barbican – The Left-Hander – is perhaps unfamiliar to many, but its fantastical plot is undoubtedly topical for Russia’s relationship with…

Eugenia Ellanskaya | 12/11/2014

‘Capturing Carpathia’ at the Romanian Cultural Institute, reviewed by Eugenia Ellanskaya

George Butler is a talented young illustrator, with a special focus on travel and current affairs. Having previously explored such hot subjects as the oil fields of Azerbaijan, soldiers in Afghanistan and the Syrian civil war, his latest exhibition at the Romanian Cultural Institute in London was dedicated to the lush region of Transylvania. This…

Eugenia Ellanskaya | 10/11/2014
havel portrait cropped

Made in Prague: ‘Citizen Havel’ reviewed by Robin Ashenden


‘It’s almost as though I’m an impostor in this job…I feel at any moment as thought someone will come along and divest me of office and throw me back into prison.’ So spoke Václav Havel of his Presidency of the Czech Republic which came, a month or so after the Velvet Revolution of 1989, as…

Robin Ashenden | 10/11/2014
The Way Out

Made in Prague: Petr Václav’s ‘The Way Out’, reviewed by Jonathan Karstadt


With an estimated population of around 10 million, Romani people constitute what is arguably Europe’s largest ethnic minority – and the high level of impoverishment, dire living conditions and systematic exclusion from employment and education that blight the group are among Europe’s most pressing social problems. Though Europe’s Roma primarily reside in the centre, east…

Jonathan Karstadt | 09/11/2014
marta kubisova singly (3)

Marta Kubišová: ‘The Magic Voice of a Rebel’. Olga Sommerová’s new film reviewed by Robin Ashenden


Among Eastern European nations, the Czechs are an anomaly. While neighbouring countries like Hungary and Poland seem to romanticise martyrdom and self-sacrifice, the Czechs – brave when the circumstances demand it – have throughout their history put survival first. Budapest and Warsaw were flattened in World War Two, but Prague was left unscathed, much of…

Robin Ashenden | 04/11/2014
play poland (2)

Play Poland Film Festival London 23rd October – 15th November 2014

“Play Poland Festival comes to London The 2014 edition of PLAY POLAND FILM FESTIVAL IN LONDON continues to showcase the finest in Polish cinema, art and culture. 23 October – 15 November 2014 at various venues. 23 October 2014 at 6:30pm  cafe 1001 Tickets on doors: £7 PLAY FULL opening night  Special screening: SHORTS and…

Robin Ashenden | 20/10/2014
made in prague

Made in Prague Festival 17th October – 30th November

“Now in its 18th year, the Made in Prague Festival is back with a month-long programme of Czech cinema, music and visual arts presented across London. The main focus of this multi-genre celebration of Czech culture is and always has been cinema. The Czech Centre is proud to present the film highlights of the past…

Robin Ashenden | 19/10/2014