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First British Weeks in Bulgaria: 26 May to 11 June 2013

The British Embassy in Bulgaria is organising a two-week festival to celebrate Bulgarian-British ties and co-operation.

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British Weeks in Bulgaria
British Weeks in Bulgaria - 26 May-11 June

The British Embassy in Sofia is pleased to present “British Weeks in Bulgaria”, taking place from 26 May to 11 June 2013. This celebration of Bulgarian-British links includes more than twenty events (organised with our partners) to take place in Sofia, Plovdiv and Varna. The events highlight the close links and prospects resulting from the close relationship between Bulgaria and Great Britain.

The events included in the “British Weeks” will be conducted under the slogan “This is GREAT Britain” and focus on several main topics - Culture is GREAT Britain, Music is GREAT Britain, Heritage is GREAT Britain, Creativity is GREAT Britain, Technology is GREAT Britain, Food is GREAT Britain and Sport is GREAT Britain.

Jonathan Allen, British Ambassador in Bulgaria, commented:

British Weeks in Bulgaria” celebrates the many positive things our two countries share. It demonstrates the depth of the work that we do together and is a chance for us to focus attention on what unites Bulgaria and Great Britain.

The celebrations will focus on achievements in the fields of education, culture, business and sports. I hope that these events will be a platform for future co-operation. I am very excited to be taking part in this celebration.

Many of the events included in the “British Weeks in Bulgaria”, are charity events and will help to support underprivileged Bulgarian children and those in need of medical treatment.

The “British Weeks” will open with a charity football match between Aston Villa Old Stars team and a Bulgarian Dream Team to raise money for children with leukaemia. The match will feature many well-known Bulgarian players including Hristo Stoichkov and Dimitar Berbatov, as well as the British Ambassador Jonathan Allen.

This will be followed by a number of classical concerts by Canticum Choir, one of the most musically versatile chamber choirs in the UK, and Swindon Choir, the repertoire of which features traditional choral, church, folk and theatre music.

Theatre performances take a central place in the celebration programme – included are the plays “This House”, which will be broadcast live via satellite from London; as well as “Void Story”, a contemporary fable following a beleaguered pair of protagonists on a rollercoaster ride, performed by the popular UK experimental theatre company „forced entertainment”. Both events are part of British Council’s cultural programmes.

Special attention will also be devoted to British food. Alan Coxon, one of the UK’s best chefs will be in Bulgaria to deliver live demonstrations and highlight British cuisine. Clare Marriage, who specialises in gluten-free recipes, enjoying great interest in the UK, will also be among the Festival’s special guests.

The British Residence will open its’ doors to the public. The Open Day will take place within the framework of the “British Weeks in Bulgaria”. For the first time in its century-long history, one of the most beautiful and old residential buildings with representational functions in Sofia will open its doors to anyone interested in visiting.

Two British films will be screened at the Polish Institute Sofia as part of the Film Panorama on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the first ascent of Mount Everest, organised by Bansko Film Fest.

The British Weeks include also the premiere screening of the film “Portrait of a Quest” on the Gospels of Tsar Ivan Alexander, described by experts as one of the most significant monuments of medieval history and culture. More widely known as the “London Gospel”, the manuscript is now kept in the British Library. A representative of the Library is expected to attend the film premiere.

The celebration programme will continue with the live broadcast of the FameLab International final – an exciting competition created by the Cheltenham Festivals, now gone global thanks to the British Council, including in Bulgaria. The finals, which have become highly popular in the recent years, aim to show that talks about science can be presented in an understandable and entertaining way to a non-specialist audience.

A special focus will also be placed on emblematic British brands available in the Bulgarian market, including the launch of the latest Jaguar car.

A number of competitions with an opportunity to win prizes will take place at various media. The aim will be to familiarise the Bulgarian public with interesting facts about Great Britain.

The series of events will culminate in the Queen’s Birthday Party to celebrate the birthday of HM Queen Elizabeth II, which the British overseas diplomatic missions uses to mark as UK’s National Day.

Read the full programme.

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The hashtag for the British Weeks in Bulgaria is #Britwks.

Published 16 May 2013