On 1st October, the opening ceremony of the Kazakh Arts Festival was held at London's Stockwell Playhouse theatre. The festival opened with the play 'A Man on a Mission', which was written by renowned and award-winning Kazakh writer and playwright, Mr Dulat Issabekov, who is this year marking his 75th anniversary. Attendees included representatives from Britain's political, business and academic communities; members of the British-Kazakh Society; heads of diplomatic missions; representatives of the Kazakh diaspora; and the media. All enjoyed performances by Kazakh theatre actors and were introduced to the best works of Kazakh drama.
The festival – which is running until 7 October – is a large-scale project which aims to introduce the UK and wider global community to Kazakhstan's rich cultural and historic heritage. Over the week, actors from two Kazakh theatres – the Mukhtar Auezov Kazakh State Theatre of Drama and the Korean State Theatre of Musical Comedy – will perform Dulat Issabekov's plays. This will include 'A Man on a Mission', 'The Actress', and 'Song of the Swans'.
Opening the festival, Ambassador of Kazakhstan to the UK, Mr. Erlan Idrissov, stressed the importance of holding the event in London, which is regarded as one of the world's culture and art capitals. He noted that the Kazakh Arts Festival was an important cultural project, which was organized in line with President Nursultan Nazarbayev's programme of modernisation. The festival is very much part of a global project to promote modern Kazakh culture to the world.
During his speech, chairman of the British-Kazakh Society, Mr Rupert Goodman highlighted the festival's valuable contribution to strengthening cultural ties between Kazakhstan and the United Kingdom.
'A Man on a Mission' is about famous Kazakh singer and composer, and prominent wrestler, Baluan Sholak. The play, which was performed by the Kazakh State Theatre of Drama, focuses on the heroism of Baluan Sholak, the struggle for his state's freedom, and the independence of the Kazakh nation. It is worth noting that 'A Man on a Mission', based on Sabit Mukanov's novel, was awarded the 2017 'best dramatic work' in the 'Poem of the Independence' contest.
The premiere of another play, 'The Actress', promises to be an important event during the Kazakh Arts Festival. The play will be performed by actors from the Korean State Theatre of Musical Comedy on 3rd October at the Bridewell Theatre. The festival, which is supported by the National Welfare Fund 'Samruk-Kazyna', will also show Dulat Issabekov's play, 'Song of the Swans', on 4-6 October. For the first time, this play will be performed in English by local actors from the Pajarito Theatre of London. As part of the festival, a reception was held at the UK Parliament's House of Lords, where a sample of Dulat Issabekov's work was presented in English.