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To celebrate the fifth Polish Heritage Days, the POSK Polish Centre welcomes you to Katy Carr: Polish British Stories – a journey through 20th-century Polish-British friendship, through the music of singer-songwriter Katy Carr. The concert features a range of music, from 1930s Polish hits, to Carr’s own songs about Polish-British history, including pieces inspired by Sir Edward Elgar and Ignacy Paderewski, Henryk Wars, Wojtek the Soldier Bear, Hanka Ordonówna, Eugeniusz Bodo, Pola Negri, Charlie Chaplin and Krystyna Skarbek.
Piano, Ukulele, Vocals – Katy Carr
Cello – Rupert Gillett
Accordion – Alan Dunn
Violin – Chris Haigh
Katy Carr’s CDs are available at https://www.katycarr.com/shop including the recent trilogy of albums Paszport-Polonia-Providence (50 songs) dedicated to the Polish WWII experience. https://www.facebook.com/KatyCarrMusic/
Inspirational and wide-ranging – though sadly too often forgotten today – the social and cultural connections between Britain and Poland in the early 20th century crossed into all walks of life. The interwar period – following the restoration of Polish independence – marked a particularly prosperous time for Polish-British friendship.
Whilst the Polish-born Pola Negri was lighting up silver screens across the world – and dallying with Charlie Chaplin – Polish songs were being sold and translated into English and vice versa. Meanwhile, in literature and the arts, prominent Polish figures worked closely alongside their British counterparts, creating a vast network of cross-cultural inspiration and influence, from Joseph Conrad to Feliks Topolski, and many more. And Polish-British cooperation strengthened ever further during the Second World War.
Many Poles played a pivotal role in the British war effort, in a variety of sectors – with vital contributions in the Air Force, codebreaking, and espionage. Other Poles joined the Allied fight in Europe, with the Polish II Corps, led by General Władysław Anders – and including many pre-war Polish artists, performers and musicians – achieving victory at the Battle of Monte Cassino in 1944.
Post-war, thousands of Poles also decided to settle in Britain, fostering Polish communities across the country – from Scotland to Yorkshire, Lincolnshire to London. The capital was home to a particularly wide array of post-war Polish cultural institutions and organisations, with shows, events, and Polish figures – including Marian Hemar, Hanka Ordonowna, Eugeniusz Bodo, Zosia Terné and Feliks Konarski – still remembered fondly today among the Polish community.
* The event is supported by the Polish Cultural Institute in London and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in the United Kingdom. The finale of the Polish Heritage Days 2021 #PLHeritageDays
DONATE TO SUPPORT POSK: POSK Polish Centre is a registered UK charity dedicated to promoting Polish culture in the UK. If you are able to support our programming, any donation, large or small, will make a huge difference. Text DONATE POSK to 88802 for instructions (UK).