Polish Sailing Ship Fryderyk Chopin Drops Anchor By Tower Bridge

Chopin Ship

Tomorrow, the sailing ship Fryderyk Chopin, the world’s second largest brig, will cruise up the River Thames and at 11am will moor at St. Katherine’s Pier for ten days, each packed with events devoted to her namesake, the great 19th century Polish pianist and composer. Live concerts, performances and presentations taking place aboard and around the sailing ship will be based on the themes that embody the true Polish spirit: passion, youth, music, love, romanticism, freedom and creativity.

Chopin Ship

This message will be expressed through the universal medium of music and dance and conveyed by a group of enthusiastic young Polish students who will arrive aboard the ship as Ambassadors of modern Poland.  President of the Polish Tourist Organisation, Mr Szmytke will be in London to offically launch the Chopin celebrations in the UK. The event will start at 2pm aboard the Fryderyk Chopin, in the presence of representatives of London boroughs, the Director of the Mayor’s Thames Festival and VIP’s from Poland and the UK.

Every day, there will be visits aboard the ship for the public, with the young crew acting as guides.  Other Chopin events staged in London between 3 and 12 September will include: breathtaking shows by dancer, interactive sessions for the public, including painting mock pianos and erecting a statue of Chopin using umbrellas and bowler hats and classes in Poland’s national dance, the Polonaise.

The events will be part of the Mayor’s Thames Festival, starting on 11 September. Poland’s presentation will take place in five marquees situated in the New European Village 2010 in front of the Royal Festival Hall. The Polish National Tourist Office will also be joined by partners from several regions of Poland.

The ship’s voyage is part of a Europe-wide project, launched in June 2010 by the Polish Tourist Organisation, to commemorate the 200th birthday of Frederic Chopin. It has addressed wide audiences across Europe, highlighting Poland’s cultural and artistic achievements and showcasing Poland as a modern country with strong roots in the common cultural heritage of Europe.

The ship will dock on 3rd September 2010 at 11am

Information about the Chopin project can be found at www.chopinthecourse.com/en-gb

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PNTO at London’s Thames Festival

Polish National Tourist Office at Thames Festival 2009
POLSKA at Thames Festival 2009

The Polish National Tourist Office has announced that it will once again be taking part in this year’s Thames Festival in London. The famous annual event held between Westminister Bridge and Tower Bridge takes place on 11 and 12 September this year. Polish stands will be located opposite The Royal Festival Hall. The PNTO will be joined by partners from the Wielkopolska region (the home of Poznań) and the Pomorskie region (the home of Gdańsk among others).

This year, during Thames Festival there will be celebrations of the 200th anniversary of the Chopin’s birthday. To mark the anniversary the tall ship “Fryderyk Chopin”, which has been sailing around Europe promoting Poland since mid June, will sail into London. From 3 September Chopin will be in London, where it will stay until 12 September.

Many attraction and activities are planned including: the construction of a bust of Chopin using country-specific components like umbrellas, Polonaise dance classes with an attempt to beat the Guinness world record, classes and lectures devoted to Poland and Poles.  However, all these wonderful events are open to everyone, whether of Polish decent or not!

For more information on Poland visit www.poland.travel/en-gb

For more information about the festival visit www.thamesfestival.org

For more information about the Fryderyk Chopin ship visit www.chopinthecourse.com/en-gb

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Russian Theatre Festival in London

Between the 1st and 4th of February London will welcome the Festival of Russian and Russian-language plays.  Each play, produced by Sputnik Theatre Company, will begin at 7.30pm at the Soho Theatre in London.  This festival will be the first annual Russian Theatre Festival in the UK, presenting four British premieres by emerging Russian-language playwrights in English.

Dreams by Natalya Kolyada (1 February 2010) is a fictionalised account of real testimonies from Belarus. Maria, Anna, Olga and Elena didn’t know each other until their boyfriends and husbands had a run-in with the state. For the four women to speak out is dangerous – but to stay silent is impossible.  Kolyada is a co-founder of Free Theatre, an underground theatre company in Belarus whose Patrons are Vaclav Havel and Tom Stoppard.

Tityus The Irreproachable by Maksim Kurochkin (2 February 2010) is a futuristic political satire. The Administrator-Killer of United Mankind is in trouble.  The terrorists have gone into hiding. The Administrator-Killer discovers that clues have been hidden in contemporary Russian playwriting. But what he and his Captain find is not what they were expecting.  Tityus won Moscow’s prestigious New Drama Award 2008.


Mums by Vladimir Zuev (3 February 2010) is a detailed and moving portrait based on real testimonies of Russia’s taboo subject – Chechnya. Vera, Rosa, Oldest and Youngest live in a basement of a dilapidated building in central Grozny. They didn’t want to come but they refuse to leave until they’ve found their sons. Zuev won the Eurasia Award 2007 for Mums.

Read more…

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Poland’s Crucial Role in Cracking Enigma Code

The “Enigma Recaptured” campaign will form part of a drive to highlight Poland’s important role in World War Two.  The Polish National Tourist Office (PNTO) is also organising a very special Polish event at the Buckinghamshire museum to commemorate 70 years since the start of the war.

Bletchley Park
Bletchley Park

Along with Polish films, exhibitions, and entertainment several distinguished speakers will talk at the event on 19 July. Topics addressed will include life in Warsaw during the Nazi occupation and of course Poland’s vital efforts in unlocking the secrets of the Enigma puzzle.

Polish input into modern history is a key theme for the PNTO in the 70th anniversary year of the Second World War.  British tourists will be invited to discover places of historical importance in Poland such as Gdansk-Westerplatte where the war began, the Auschwitz concentration camp and once-occupied cities including Warsaw, Krakow and Bydgoszcz.

Enigma Machine
Enigma Machine

Bletchley Park summer (April – October) opening times are as follows:
Monday – Friday 09.30am – 17.00pm
Saturday, Sunday & Bank Holidays 10.30am – 17.00pm

Find out more about Bletchley Park at www.bletchleypark.org.uk
For more information about the Polish National Tourist Office visit www.poland.travel/en-gb/
This year is Polska! Year in the UK. For more information visit http://www.polskayear.pl/

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