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Main Culture — Lesya Ukrainka’s Cassandra tours to Cambridge and Oxford


Lesya Ukrainka’s Cassandra tours to Cambridge and Oxford

18 Feb, 2023
Lesya Ukrainka’s Cassandra tours to Cambridge and Oxford

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After a successful premiere in London last fall, "Cassandra" by Lesya Ukrainka will appear on stage in Cambridge and Oxford as part of the Great Britain/Ukraine Season of Culture.

The Trojan story retold by Ukraine’s pioneering feminist writer, Lesya Ukrainka. Presented by Live Canon and the Ukrainian Institute London in an award-winning new translation by Nina Murray.

Imagine you could see the future, but no one would believe anything you said. This is Cassandra’s fate. Stuck in besieged Troy and knowing exactly how the war will end, Cassandra sees the destruction unfold around her, just as she knew it would.

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First published in 1908, Lesya Ukrainka’s poetic drama retells the story of the Trojan war from Cassandra’s perspective. Today, Cassandra continues to speak with uncanny immediacy in the contemporary era of post-truth politics, under the shadow of Russia’s war in Ukraine.

Following the acclaimed premiere in London last autumn, Cassandra will tour to Cambridge and Oxford in March 2023, as part of the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture.

Cassandra is presented by the Live Canon ensemble and the Ukrainian Institute London.

Tour Dates:

  • Cambridge: 20, 21 & 22 March (^7.30pm), Round Church. Book tickets here
  • Oxford: 23 March (7.30pm), 25 March (2.30pm & 7.30pm), North Wall Arts Centre. Book tickets here

The tour of Cassandra to Oxford and Cambridge is part of the UK/Ukraine Season of Culture devised jointly by the British Council and the Ukrainian Institute.

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The production is directed by Helen Eastman, whose work has included The Cure at Troy (Delphi International Festival and world tour), Bridgetower (Hackney Empire and UK tour), Fair (Trafalgar Studios) and Bicycle Boy (GDIF and UK tour), and advising on many contemporary productions of Ancient Greek plays, most recently Paradise, by Kae Tempest at the National Theatre.

Nina Murray’s translation of Cassandra won the Ukrainian Institute London’s 2021 Ukrainian Literature in Translation Prize, and the play will soon be published in translation by Harvard University PressNina Murray is a Ukrainian-American poet and translator. Her other translation work includes best-selling contemporary Ukrainian writer Oksana Zabuzhko’s The Museum of Abandoned Secrets.

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The productions in Oxford and Cambridge are presented in association with Cambridge Ukrainian Studies, Cambridge4Ukraine, APGRD, and the Oxford Society of Ukrainians.

The first production of Cassandra in London in October 2022 was made possible thanks to 132 backers of the production’s crowdfunding campaign, as well as support from the Polish Cultural Institute, the Lithuanian Cultural Institute, the Lithuanian Embassy to the United Kingdom, the Goethe-Institut, the Institut Français and the APGRD.

For audiences who can’t make it to Oxford or Cambridge, we will have a livestream of the show, available to watch between 23-26 March. Pay What You Can (minimum donation £5)

Book here.

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Ukrainian-American artist Ola Rondiak installing her exhibition at Omnibus Theatre, London. The works are on display to coincide with the production of a play, Cassandra, by Ukrainian playwright Lesia Ukraina which opens today and runs until 16 October. The prints and the painting of Cassandra (largest work, with crown) are available to buy by charity auction to support the production costs of the play.

The Odessa Journal

The Odessa Journal

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