WWI centenary role for Playhouse

Nottingham Playhouse has represented British theatre at the Sarajevo Heart of Europe Festival as the world continues to commemorate the centenary of the First World War.

Bolero by Michael Pinchbeck was premiered last month at Nottingham Playhouse as part of neat14. (Nottingham European Arts Theatre festival).

The six-strong cast from the UK, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Germany have since performed it at the Sarajevo War Theatre, on June 29, as part of the commemorations. Nottingham Playhouse was the only British theatre to be included in this international festival.

Bolero is co-production between Nottingham Playhouse, ODA Theatre (Pristina) and Sarajevo War Theatre.

In 1914, Sarajevo became the symbol of the outbreak of the First World War, a century later as the word prepares to commemorate the first global conflict, Sarajevo will once again be in the spotlight.

Throughout 2014, Sarajevo will be hosting a series of events including the Sarajevo Heart of Europe festival; a series of events on and around June 28, marking 100 years since the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

The bond between Nottingham and Sarajevo was sealed at the 1984 Winter Olympics.

Sarajevo hosted the international sporting event, where Nottingham’s Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean won gold in ice skating; with Ravel’s Bolero. Eight years after their victory, the stadium in which they danced was bombed during the Bosnian War.

In an effort to bridge the two stories, a Nottingham-Sarajevo collaboration has seen Bolero, written by Nottingham writer Michael Pinchbeck, take audience members on a journey from Paris to Sarajevo, from 1914-1994 and the First World War to the Bosnian War.

Giles Croft, artistic director of Nottingham Playhouse, said: “It is a great privilege to be the only theatre company representing the UK at the festival to commemorate the centenary of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand.

“And it is thrilling that a Nottingham artist, Michael Pinchbeck, has created the work in collaboration with artists form the UK, Bosnia, Kosovo and Germany. It also highlights Nottingham Playhouse’s role as a regional theatre, making bold new work for national and international audiences.”