Legendfest – writing and performances

legendfest 2011 bannerLegendfest is a three-day festival of myths, legends, folklore and live performances held every year in the small hilltop village of Pićan, in Istria, Croatia. During the festival the village becomes the backdrop for storytellers, children’s workshops, live theatrical shows, local food, arts and crafts and concerts, which draw on the rich traditions and history of Istria. Visitors have the chance to go back in time and experience anything from medieval poetry to ancient myths in the picturesque setting.

Each year the festival has a different theme. I have written and performed at Legendfest since 2011. The theme for 2011 was pirates – and so myself as author, Cyborgix 4E75 as composer and musician, Miki orchestral composer and Jasmina Jazzy as performer, wardrobe and make-up manager, put together the audio/visual piece “Captain Morgan’s Hidden Treasure”. I played the ghost of the Caribbean pirate Captain Morgan (yes, him from the brand of rum) who, as legend says, visited the province of Istria, settled and established the real-life village of Mrgani (meaning the “place of the Morgans”). The myth recalls how he had buried his last stash of gold and treasure nearby. Our 15 minute performance was his story and how he had returned from the spirit world to Istria to uncover the location of his buried treasure after 300 years.

captain morgan martin mayhew

Performing as the ghost of Captain Morgan

Cybergix 4E75

Cyborgix 4E75 – composer, arranger and musician on keyboards

Jasmina Jazzy played the seductive spectre

Jasmina Jazzy played the seductive spectre

In our performance we were joined by Alen Tibljaš – one of Croatia’s most respected drummers, who added some extra drama to the composition. The show was held in the tiny chapel of Sv. Mihovil on the outskirts of the village of Pićan situated at the top of the surrounding cliffs – the perfect location for our dark tale of ghostly pirates and treasure.

Alen Tibljaš pićan

Alen Tibljaš added atmospheric percussion

At the end of the performance, which closed the festival on the last evening, many of the festival’s other performers came and joined us for pirate revelry and choruses of “Fifteen men on a dead man’s chest. Yo, ho, ho and a bottle of rum. Drink and the devil had done for the rest….” The audience thoroughly enjoyed it!

Legendfest 2012 posterThe theme for Legendfest 2012 was witches, wizards and goblins and so we delved into Istria’s rich heritage of myths, legends and folklore and wrote, composed and produced a new concept and performance – “Legend From Istria”. Based upon tales of Istrian gods I played Stribor, son of Svarog – The God of Wind and I narrated the terrible story of good versus evil to take back the land of Istria which had been conquered by the Underworld demons of Bjesomar and Morana played by Cyborgix 4E75 and Jasmina Jazzy.

legendfest 2012 show

Pićan’s tiny chapel of Sv. Mihovil was the perfect setting for our dramatic show

Svarog summoned up the help of Slavic gods Perun – the God of Thunder and Gerovita – The Master of War to defeat the two devils in a final cataclysmic battle scene which would see peace return to the beautiful land of Istria.

legendfest 2012

Our excellent costumes, make up, lasers and dry ice enhanced the performance

Once again we closed the festival programme after midnight on the last day, leaving the audience enthralled.

 

(jasmin): jasmin, jasmine, jasmyn

History of coffee in Rijeka

The history of coffee in the city of Rijeka stretches back to the beginning of the 18th century.
Rijeka Korzo/Corso cafe

In Europe cafés first appeared in the south of the continent. By 1570 Venetian merchants brought coffee to Venice along with tobacco. In the second half of the 17th century the first cafés were opened, and soon Milan, Turin, Genoa and other Italian cities followed the trend. Around 1760 there existed more than 200 cafés in Venice alone. Vienna is probably the best known European city for its cafés, and the opening of the first Viennese café, called “Hof zur Blauen Flasche” (“House under the Blue Bottle“) was related to the Turkish siege of Vienna in 1683. Cafés became the places which captivated with their smell, comfort, warmth and all the activities which go along with drinking coffee such as reading the newspapers, playing cards or billiards, pleasant conversation and intellectual debates. Cafés became centres of social life.

Coffee most probably arrived in Rijeka following the examples of Venice and Vienna cafés, because as early as 1719 the Habsburg Emperor Charles VI declared Rijeka and Trieste as free ports, which at the same time also meant that the delivery of colonial goods could be made without Venetian intervention.

Records show that the first café was opened in 1715 in Rijeka by Tommaso Bianchi and Florio Maruloni, who were settlers from the Swiss province of Grigioni (Graubünden, Grischun, Grisons). It was located in the house named Domus Aurea, near the old council building in today’s Koblerov Trg.

The Ana Minak - a typical clipper boat used for the transport of coffee and tea.

The Ana Minak – a typical clipper boat used for the transport of coffee and tea.

Most imports of coffee to the Rijeka region were connected with the establishment of the Trieste-Fiume Company (1750) and its successor the Privileged Company of Trieste and Fiume (1775-1804), whose branch in Rijeka imported, amongst other things, great amounts of coffee and tea from Amsterdam, Nantes and Bordeaux. At the beginning of the 19th century the Rijeka entrepreneur Andrija Ljudevit Adamić participated in trade with overseas countries, importing tobacco, coffee and cocoa as well as other goods. These were goods imported from Central and Southern America.

Not much is known about the cafés, café service or interiors of those times today, although there is more information about the public houses, hotels, guesthouses and inns. Dominik Teleki von Szek states that in Rijeka in 1794 there were seven cafés and that they were the centre of social life.

The local shipyards of Rijeka, Istria and the Croatian littoral were involved in the construction of fast sailing ships, so-called barque-clippers, which were used for the transport of perishable goods, tea and coffee. At the end of the 19th century the main traffic in coffee to the Hungarian part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire came through Rijeka’s ports.

Caffe Al Risorgimento

Caffe Al Risorgimento

The entrepreneurial spirit of Rijeka’s people in this period can be seen in the opening of coffee roasting establishments in the city, because coffee was transported here as raw beans from Asia and South America as well.

grande cafe borsoIn Sušak several private companies operated which were involved in the import of colonial goods, which were imported directly, without intervention from the countries of origin. Josip Smerdel had a company, established in 1886, which also had a coffee roasting house. His shop sold the roasted and unroasted coffee brands of: Minas, Santos, Salvador, San Domingo, Perla Portorico, Liberia, Guatemala and Cuba Speciale, which clearly pointed to the diversity of the origins of the coffee. This was very similar to the selection of coffees which the Haramija-Mikuličić company also offered.

The interior of Josip Smerdel's shop in Sušak.

The interior of Josip Smerdel’s shop in Sušak.

Ljudevita Jelušića coffee shop, Kastav

Ljudevita Jelušića coffee shop, Kastav

After the division of Rijeka and Sušak at the beginning of the 1920s, a group of wholesalers was organised in Sušak and it founded the First Sušak Joint Stock Trading Society, which brought together a range of entrepreneurs involved in import-export. It was here that coffee found its place. Along with the usual flow of imported coffee from overseas, the society adapted its business operations to the emerging situations and connected itself with the Franck factory in Zagreb and with Kolinska in Ljubljana selling its coffee. Besides selling coffee it also sold coffee substitutes such as Rosil from figs, Kneipp from barley and Seka from chicory. The Haramija-Mikuličić roasting house sold coffee blends under the names of Mercantilna, Domaća, Stolna Melange, Imperial Melange and Haramika.

hotel cont

In the second half of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century there were numerous known cafés: Caffé Europa, Caffé Maritimo Mercantile, Caffé Centrale, Caffé Schenk (later Caffé Degli Specchi), Caffé Orient, Caffé Grande, Liburnia, De la Ville, Fiumara, Panachoff, Adria, Quarnero, Grande, Patriottico, Commercio, Panny, Specchi, Fiume Risorgimento, Apolo, Secession, Europa, Marittimo and Venezia.

hotel europecaffe europacafe lloydcaffe europaIn 1920 in Sušak a cooperative was founded of innkeepers, barkeepers and café owners in order to represent their rights in the town and district of Sušak. The cooperative consisted of around 100 members which in 1933 paid 10 dinars each for their membership. Amongst the first cafés in Sušak were the Caffé Europa and the Narodna Kavana.

The Cafe Bristol

The Cafe Bristol

The same building in 2104

The same building in 2104

During the 1960s the new Yugoslav society, thanks to the specifics of the political regime, there developed a special consumerism concerning coffee and its drinking in special places. Work meetings without coffee were unimaginable, and one of the main skills of business secretaries was the art of making the morning coffee. The whole atmosphere was complemented with a shopping trip to Trieste, if for nothing else than just to drink a cup of coffee.

The crisis or the so-called economic stabilisation of the 1980s was marked with a shortage of coffee, which gave additional reasons for a trip over the border and the “smuggling” of coffee.

The traditions of those first cafés were upheld by popular cafés of the second half of the 20th century: Učka, Triglav, Narodna Kavana, Kontinental, Union, Istra, Neboder, Gradska Kavana, Rječina, Slavica, Sport, Korzo, Zora, Žabica and their names still evoke pleasant memories and rich nostalgia.

Rijeka In Your Pocket guide summer 2013

rijeka in your pocket 2013The new updated 2013 edition of this popular city guide is available as a pdf download from their website:

http://www.inyourpocket.com/croatia/rijeka

Everything you’ll need to know about visiting Croatia’s third largest city – what to see, what to do, where to stay, where to eat, fashion, music, history and culture, transport, beaches and of course shopping.
I contributed to new and updated reviews of sights and places to visit.

Only Fools and Horses – Mućke

mućke banner‘Only Fools and Horses’ is incredibly popular in Croatia and is broadcast on national television under the title ‘Mućke’ – loosely translated as meaning ‘wheelers and dealers’.

All episodes of Mućke are available on DVD.

All episodes of Mućke are available on DVD.

Rijeka’s city football team supporters Armada have adopted Delboy, Rodney and Uncle Albert as beacons of hope.

Armada Rijeka

Graffiti near Krnjevo, Rijeka – “This time next year we’ll be champions”

mućke kombić

“Paris, New York, Peckham, Krnjevo”

More Armada graffiti around Rijeka on their website: http://www.armada-rijeka.hr/site/armada-rijeka-1987-grafiti/

Uncle Albert, Delboy and Rodney - not to forget Grand Dad.

Uncle Albert, Delboy and Rodney.

grandad lennard pearce

… and Grandad

And of course Trigger…

Roger Lloyd Pack Trigger

Roger Lloyd Pack aka ‘Trigger’

In 2103 Rijeka’s football stadium celebrated its centenary and a special book was published: ’100 Godina Stadiona Kantrida’.

 

 

 

Janko Polić Kamov English extracts

janko polić kamov signatureJanko Polić Kamov portraitSome selected excerpts from my translations of the works of Janko Polić Kamov, the early 20th century, Croatian, pavement writer and poet.

 “I toured the universe and this is where I had to stay forever and I was not in the slightest bit tormented by the thought of when all of this would come to an end, will I find anyone or would I expect any change. So I remained like this for centuries… When I woke up, it was still not midnight.”
Catastrophe (Katastrofa)

“Her smiling eyes, darting wanton looks. She rested them on her lover’s profile like a bird landing on a branch, chirping and then flying away.”
Behold the Man! (Ecce Homo!)

“I became ever more cold and derisive. I would stand in the street and watch the crowds, how they bow, curtsey, dandily, and I was repulsed most by the neat, beautiful and elegant people.”
The Beard (Brada)

“Sweet, good, humble and warm like a small loaf of bread, she warmed my teeth and my heart and her breasts sizzled under my fingers like apples frying in wine…”
The Earthquake (Potres)

“But, oh my! Do I crave female company. It seems to me that it does not make one stupider, as is rightfully claimed, but that it clarifies and invigorates like cognac when you drink it from a small glass.”
The Suit (Odijelo)

“A million incandescent rays, sharp, incisive and thin, pushed themselves into my pores, and there the sky was covered with gold dust and the sea, soft and azure…”
The Village (Selo)

“Your apparition is thus stolen by the twilight and it seems to me that your shadow still trembles on the walls of my little room. And I love that shadow, I look at that shadow, I reach for that shadow.”
Woman (Žena)

“The sun is in the west. Its last flames melt through the drawn curtains. Glowing fragments of something invisible are falling on my head. Visions of molten metals, feelings and images dance in front of me. My eyes are hot, my throat is dry, my back on fire.”
Freedom (Sloboda)

“But one thing I know: I could not cry or kiss my sister now. Everything seems tight, disgusting and unbearable. A forced kiss on the icy face of a corpse – that’s what we all are and that’s what she is. That is our sorrow and that is our love!”
Sorrow (Žalost)

“Occasional wisps of smoke wavered in the air, like fragments of sentences uttered in delirium. The forest and the plain and the Sava and the hills had something feeble and faint about them, like a sick person who has just risen from their of bed.”
Bitanga

“And so – spring tapped along on young, breezy, little legs wrapped in shiny stockings. And the forest sprouted leaves like the noses of young girls peeping through a tiny window.”
The Dried Out Mire’ – novel (roman – Isušena Kaljuža)
Never before translated into English

The original Croatian language texts can be found at: http://www.kamov.hr/
more Kamov:
Kamov’s novel, Dora Maar and Picasso, Croatian avant garde
Kamov’s poetry in English
more of Kamov’s poetry in English

An original collection Kamov's of novellas and essays. Published in 1938 by Hrvatske Književne Naklade Neovisnih Književnika, Zagreb. Editor Ljubo Wiesner.

An original collection of Kamov’s novellas and essays. Published in 1938 by Hrvatske Književne Naklade Neovisnih Književnika, Zagreb. Editor Ljubo Wiesner. Interesting how the cover has the title in Cyrillic whilst the inside the actual text is in the Latin script.

Illustrations by Milenko Bosanac from 'Janko Polić Kamov by Vladimir Čerina' (1968, Zagreb) A collection of short stories, essays, columns, poems and dramas by Kamov and Čerina.

Illustrations by Milenko Bosanac from ‘Janko Polić Kamov – Vladimir Čerina’ (1968, Zagreb) A collection of short stories, essays, columns, poems and dramas by Kamov and Čerina.

Janko Polic Kamov signature JP Kamov Milenko Bosanac Milenko Bosanac 1 Milenko Bosanac 2 Milenko Bosanac 3 Milenko Bosanac 4 Milenko Bosanac 5Milenko Bosanac 6

Eddie Izzard – Croatia tour

My favourite comedian Eddie Izzard is on a new world tour which started in March 2013 called Force Majeure.

force majeure posterAnd I am especially happy that part of this tour will see him performing in Croatia on the following dates:

Dubrovnik – 22nd March
Zagreb – 24th March
Osijek – 26th March

The dates have been arranged by the London Calling comedy team who have been organising stand-up comedy shows by English speaking comedians from around the worlds for the last couple of years in Croatia and neighbouring countries. Well done guys!

eddie izzard in zagreb

Meeting Eddie after the Zagreb show 24.3.13

eddie izzard zagreb

After the Zagreb show a few fans met him backstage. I asked him about his early days and he remembered the early shows in Brighton at the Zap Club in the early 1990s.

I first saw Eddie Izzard do stand-up comedy back in 1991 at the Crocodile Comedy Club which used to be held at the Concorde Bar in Brighton, my home town, and just a few miles away from Eastbourne where Eddie went to school.

Eddie Izzard ticket

1990 ticket from Eddie’s show at the Crocodile Comedy Club in Brighton.

Since then of course he has become a very famous known comedian, playing to packed houses all over the world.

We are looking forward to Eddie’s visit to Croatia – particularly because here we will see the show before the tour reaches the UK and Brighton later in May and July :)

In 2003 the Discovery Channel broadcast a 3 part documentary ‘Mongrel Nation’ about England and the English language hosted by Eddie Izzard.

 

 

Janko Polić Kamov – ‘Isušena Kaljuža’

Kamov Isušena kaljuža

‘Isušena kaljuža’ – rare cover of first edition from 1957

Janko Polić Kamov – ‘Isušena Kaljuža’ (English ‘The Dried Out Mire’)
I am very fortunate to be given an original first edition of this book, intact with its dust jacket – which is very rare to find.
Kamov wrote the manuscript for his novel from 1906-1909, but it was not published until 1957, many years after his death.

In the opinion of many literary critics it is the best Croatian novel ever written.

Isušena KaljužaIsušena Kaljuža

Isušena Kaljuža

Isušena Kaljuža blue cover

Impressum / imprint details:
Urednik: Vinko Antić
Opremio: Miljenko Stančić
Korektor: Čedo Diminić
Priredio: Dragutin Tadijanović
Izdavačko poduzeće: Otokar Keršovani, Rijeka 1957
Tisak: Novinsko, izdavačko i štamparsko poduzeće “Novi List” – Rijeka

Janko Polić Kamov Članci i feljtoni pisma

Janko Polić Kamov – Članci i feljtoni pisma 1958. Sabrana djela IV, with original dust jacket.

Impressum / imprint details:
Urednik: Vinko Antić
Opremio: Miljenko Stančić
Uredio: Dragutin Tadijanović
Izdavačko poduzeće: Otokar Keršovani, Rijeka 1958
Tisak: Novinsko, izdavačko i štamparsko poduzeće “Novi List” – Rijeka

Information about Kamov:
http://hr.wikisource.org/wiki/Janko_Poli%C4%87_Kamov
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janko_Poli%C4%87_Kamov
http://www.kamov.hr/

JANKO POLIĆ KAMOV – DORA MAAR AND PABLO PICASSO

In Mladen Urem’s book ‘Janko Polić Kamov, Dora Maar i hrvatska avangarda‘ (Janko Polić Kamov, Dora Maar and the Croatian Avant-garde) (ISBN 953-6700-06-9) (2006) one chapter is dedicated to the relationship between Antun Gustav Matoš – a leading Croatian modernist writer and contemporary of Kamov’s – and the architect Josip Marković (1873–1969), the father of Dora Maar – born as Teodora Marković (1907-1997), the painter, photographer and Pablo Picasso’s muse and lover.
For more than 10 years he researched the genealogy of the Marković family; Dora Maar and her father the architect Josip Marković who was the illegitimate son of Kamov’s father Ante Polić and Barbara Marković. The long time friendship between Antun Gustav Matoš and Josip Marković, plus links with the Croatian politician Stjepan Radić reveal a deeper link between Matoš and Janko Polić Kamov. It is most likely that Josip told Matoš the story of his own origins and of his true father, although this would never be acknowledged publicly, various events and correspondence signify the links. From the entire study it can be assumed that in 1903, whilst the young Janko Polić Kamov was demonstrating in Zagreb against the Khuen government he spent several months in prison, where he became acquainted with Stjepan Radić and from him he learnt that he had a half-brother the architect Josip Marković. Janko’s brother Nikola Polić in ‘Iskopinama’ (‘Excavations’)(1953) describes how the young Janko was searching for when and where his father’s martial infidelity took place by correspondence with his parents. Many of the family’s documents and correspondence have been lost, and so it is difficult to reconstruct the actual events which acted formatively on Kamov and his literary work. Nevertheless, everything that is available to us to shows the obvious connections and contact between these people.

Pablo Picasso and Dora Maar (born Teodora Marković) by Man Ray

From this recent research connections between Janko Polić Kamov and Picasso’s lover Dora Maar have been uncovered and the new information has prompted a new analysis of Kamov’s life and works (many of which are semi-autobiographical) clarifying many details from which can be seen that he was one of the most significant writers of his time, about whom, unfortunately, the international audience has had little opportunity to discover.

Between the two world wars the works of Janko Polić Kamov were rarely printed. Initially these were his Sabrana djela – Collected Works (including his novel Isušena kaljuža’ – ‘The Dried Out Mire’, written from 1906-1909) and printed for the first time in 1956-1958.
Only in the last 20 years has he gained international recognition and his works have been translated into other languages: English, German, Italian, Spanish, Catalonian and French. The novel ‘Isušena kaljuža’ – ‘The Dried Out Mire’ has been translated and published into Italian and should soon be published in German but has never been translated into English.

More about Kamov and Dora Maar here (in Croatian).

Mladen Urem - author, editor, publisher and literary critic in Rijeka – Croatia.
More about Dora Maar: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dora_Maar

more Kamov:
Kamov’s short stories in English
Kamov’s poetry in English
More of Kamov’s poetry in English

NB I will be writing more about Kamov in the coming months.

Kamov statue in Rijeka

The City of Rijeka erected a statue of its famous pavement writer – Janko Polić Kamov.

janko polić kamov postage stamp

In 2010 the Croatian post office (Hrvatska pošta) issued a series stamps featuring eminent Croatian writers, composers etc. The 3 kuna 10 lipa stamp commemorated the 100th anniversary of Kamov’s death.

 

Tražim zaposlenje u području medija/tiska/izdavaštva:
e-mail: info@martinmayhew.com

Naftalina – online jukebox collection

naftalina ADULTS ONLY! is an astonishing online, listenable, downloadable music collection of old Yugoslavian/Croatian records and radio shows, LPs, singles and even B-sides from all decades. An veritable online jukebox!

naftalina ADULTS ONLY! onlajn muzej punoljetnih pjesama

visit:  http://adults-only.bloger.hr/

London Calling Stand Up Comedy June Tour

Despite Euro 2012, despite a holiday-riddled June calendar, despite all sorts of obstacles – we are delighted to announce the June tour!

This month, London Calling will also visit two excellent festivals in the region: Belef in Belgrade and Lent in Maribor.

So lets kick-off the summer with a bit of comedy from London:

ZAGREB 25 June 2012.
Doors open at 20:30, programme starts at 21:00
VIP Club – Trga Bana Jelacica

OSIJEK 26 June 2012.
Doors open at 20:30
Djecje Kazaliste Branka Mihaljevica

RIJEKA 27 June
Doors open at 20:30, programme starts at 21:00
Brod Klub Marina, Adamicev Gat, Riva

COMEDIANS:
MARTIN MOR (UK) – HEADLINE ACT
STEVE HILL (UK) – OPENING ACT
COLIN MANFORD (UK) – MC
MARCUS RYAN (AUS) – MID ACT

More info:
http://www.facebook.com/London.Calling.Club
http://www.LondonCallingClub.com

The London Calling Stand Up Comedy Show comes back to Croatia June 2012

Paul McCartney – Diamond Jubilee Concert

Paul McCartney was definitely the highlight of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace, London on 4th June 2012. He ended the star-studded show by performing Beatles classics ‘Magical Mystery Tour’, ‘All My Loving’, ‘Let It Be’, ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ and a spectacular version of his own ‘Live and Let Die’.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M1eM-d2mu6Q

Back in 1976 Paul McCartney and his group Wings visited Zagreb. On the 21st September they played the Dom Sportova arena.

Paul McCartney and Wings, Zagreb 1976

Whilst in Zagreb in 1976 McCartney also met up with Veljko Despot, long time fan and friend of The Beatles.

Paul McCartney meets Veljko Despot in Zagreb in 1976

Were you there at the concert back in 1976?

'Wings Over Zagreb' live concert album cover

More links:
The Beatles Revival Band
– Croatia’s best tribute band based in Rijeka
The Beatles Fan Club Zagreb – the original fan club started in 1968 by Veljko Despot (Jugoslavenski Beatles Fan Club/The Yugoslav Beatles Fan Club)

Yugoslav Beatles Fan Club letters and memorabilia

Tražim zaposlenje u području medija/tiska/izdavaštva:
e-mail: info@martinmayhew.com