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 Standard Vodka Originals Launch

NoisettesThis week Russian Standard Vodka announce the launch of Russian Standard Vodka Originals, a revolutionary and unique programme designed to provide people unrivalled access to a world of real music and film.  Russian Standard Vodka is steeped in Russian heritage; it is based on the vodka formula created by illustrious scientist Dmitri Mendeleev and is produced with premium Russian ingredients which are distilled at Russian Standard Vodka’s state-of-the-art distillery in St Petersburg.  And thanks to Russian Standard Vodka, this year people will experience the first ever truly credible brand offering with authentic, free ticketed, live music and film events across the year, courtesy of Russia’s number one premium vodka.

Russian Standard Vodka Originals kicks off with a bang with two intimate live music experiences in iconic music venues on the 19th and 20th May at the HMV Picture House in Edinburgh and the HMV Forum in London, respectively – featuring the British, Gold selling band The Noisettes. Described as ‘the best live band in Britain’ by The Guardian, the Noisettes bring with them an exciting and alternative sleek pop sound.

Loyal Russian Standard Vodka fans and new customers have the amazing opportunity to attend this free ticketed event and share it with a friend by entering the draw and registering for a pair of tickets at www.rsvoriginals.co.uk, the online hub containing all exclusive content for the campaign.

The hottest new breakthrough act Chew Lips will be supporting on both nights and each gig will culminate in a celebrity packed aftershow party with a DJ set from some of the coolest names on the scene. Each venue will be bespoke themed to bring to life the world of Russian Standard Vodka and people will be immersed in an unrivalled premium brand experience and atmosphere that brings the best of real music and film direct to them.  For those unable to attend the Noisettes concerts, the gigs will be filmed exclusively for Channel 4 and shown later in the year.

At the events consumers will be given the opportunity to receive Russian Standard Vodka privilege cards. By interacting with the brand, re-visiting the website and entering codes gained on purchase of a Russian Standard Vodka bottle, the card will give priority access to unlock a world of Russian Standard Vodka assets throughout the year.

Anyone who would like to attend any of the Russian Standard Vodka Originals events will need to visit www.rsvoriginals.co.uk and enter the draw to be in with a chance of winning a pair of the free tickets!

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Ernst Lubitsch DVD Boxset Released in UK

Ernst Lubitsch DVD Boxset
Ernst Lubitsch DVD Boxset

Before he arrived in Hollywood to leave his indelible (and inimitable) mark on timeless comedies like Trouble in Paradise and The Shop Around the Corner, Ernst Lubitsch created an expansive body of work in Germany that proved to be as varied in its tone as it was sophisticated in its measure of man and woman. Yesterday the Masters of Cinema release this box set: a collection of six recently restored works from the silent phase of Lubitsch’s career, casting new light on the director both as a fully-formed comic master, and as a virtuoso of cinematographic technique.

ICH MÖCHTE KEIN MANN SEIN (1918)

One of the first collaborations between Lubitsch and the exuberant Ossi Oswalda, Ich möchte kein Mann sein [I Wouldn’t Like to Be a Man] is a concise sketch of society life in three acts. When Ossi’s uncle goes away on a business trip, a new guardian steps in to tame the distractable niece. But Ossi finds a way out of the house and into a grand ball by way of a brazen cross-dressing scheme, and triggers what is perhaps Lubitsch’s most twisted finale.

DIE PUPPE (1919)

“Four amusing acts from a toy-chest” — so reads the opening title of the comic masterpiece Die Puppe. [The Doll.] adapted by Lubitsch and co-scenarist Hanns Kräly from a libretto by A. M. Wilner (based in turn on a tale from E. T. A. Hoffmann). Ossi Oswalda stars in a double-role as both the mischievous daughter, and automatonic creation, of a wildly coiffed “dollmaker”. When a wealthy baron decides the time has come for his prudish nephew to take a wife, an uproariously ribald plot unwinds into what is perhaps the world’s first-ever sex-doll comedy.

DIE AUSTERNPRINZESSIN (1919)

As Die Austernprinzessin. [The Oyster Princess.], Ossi Oswalda makes another turn as a plutocrat’s rambunctious daughter, now the heiress of a global oyster empire, devoting her wiles once again to the service of man-ipulation. A comic high-point in the master’s oeuvre, Die Austernprinzessin. showcases the trademarks of the “Lubitsch Touch” and its ten-fingered dexterity, resulting in a film that is simultaneously clever, concise, and risqué.

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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.

tityus

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.

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Mayor’s Thames Festival 2009

Ada Milea
Ada Milea

The famous annual event between Westminster Bridge and Tower Bridge takes place on the 12 and 13 September this year.  The Polish delights on offer will include a blacksmith, a Kashubian ‘snuff’ maker, Poles on stilts, amber jewellery, pottery and embroidery showcases, two children’s choirs, a jazz ensemble, a folk sculptor and a wealth of tourist information on the fascinating destination that is Poland.

The Polish National Tourist Office (PNTO) will be joined by partners from the Pomorskie region – the home of Gdansk – and Wielkopolska – the home of Poznan – as well as representatives from the wonderful spa town of Rabka.  Festival organisers promise dance, sculpture, music, movies, food and drink, live performances and whole host of other entertainment on the banks of the Thames.

Southwark Bridge Feast
Southwark Bridge Feast

For more information about the Polish National Tourist Office visit www.poland.travel/en-gb
For more on the Thames Festival go to www.thamesfestival.org

This year is Polska! Year. For more information visit www.polskayear.pl

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Wizz Air Launches New Routes

Wizz Air

wizz-logoCentral and Eastern Europe’s largest low cost airline Wizz Air, who first started operating from Liverpool in late 2004, have commenced their latest route from Liverpool John Lennon Airport (JLA) with three flights each week to Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic.  Flights operate on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, departing at 12:50pm, giving travellers to Prague convenient times and days of the week for short breaks or business trips.

The Capital of the Czech Republic, Prague is one of the most popular city break destinations in Europe with something on offer for everyone. The beautifully preserved historic city has stunning architecture and many famous sights such as Wenceslas Square, Prague Castle and Charles Bridge.  Czech hospitality is legendary, and visitors are guaranteed a warm welcome to the trendy bars or cosy traditional restaurants.  Prague is also famed for its Christmas markets which are among the best in the World and now for the first time passengers are able to travel direct from Liverpool to experience them.

Prague Castle
Prague Castle

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Artists For World Peace

world-orchestra-for-peace

The Artists for World Peace will be touring their Path of Hope orchestral programme that aims to promote love, tolerance, and truth through music.

Over 150 performers and artists will take to the stage in Oswiecim – the home of the Auschwitz concentration camp – on 31 August and in Krakow on 1 September before bringing their message to audiences in London on 2 September.

The oratorio premiered in Poland 11 years ago and organisers are keen to build on their success to “inspire the world to take action for peace” and encourage “universal values such as love, brotherhood, solidarity, and tolerance.”

Following the orchestral performances, artists along with representatives of churches and religious associations will invite the audience to join them in issuing an appeal for peace.

Read more…

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Poland’s Jewish Past in a Photographic Exhibition

A photography exhibition documenting the Jewish influence in Poland gets underway in London at the end of the month.  As part of Polska! Year 2009, the event will draw upon the work of British photographer Chris Schwarz to highlight Poland’s Jewish past as well as the influence Jewish culture has on the country today.

The exhibition at the London Jewish Cultural Centre in Golders Green, which starts on 30 July and will run until the end of September, follows 12 years of collaborative working between Chris Schwarz and Professor Jonathan Webber, the UNESCO Chair of Jewish and Interfaith Studies at the University of Birmingham.

For more information about the Polish National Tourist Office visit www.poland.travel/en-gb
For more information on Polska! Year visit www.polskayear.pl

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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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