British actor and long-time Sofia resident Ben Cross is to play Irish journalist James Bourchier in the Bulgare Ensemble’s production The Eighth Wonder (“Осмото чудо”) which premieres at the National Palace of Culture, NDK, on June 14.
Bourchier, the Balkans correspondent for The Times in the late 19th and early 20th century, was Sofia-based and earned the reverence of Bulgarians for his writings and advocacy of the country’s cause. Buried near Rila Monastery, Bourchier continues to be honoured in Bulgaria, with his name remembered in the naming of, among other places, a major boulevard in Sofia and a metro station after him.
Cross, the star of numerous international film productions, has the role of Bourchier as a narrator of the scenes in the lavish production, which through a mixture of theatre, song and dance, portrays the diversity of inimitable rhythms of Bulgarian folklore traditions. The production has Bourchier accompanied on his journey by Hungarian composer Bela Bartok, played by Atanas Srebrev.
The “Eighth Wonder” production is in effect a follow-on the “This is Bulgaria” performance that premiered 13 years ago on the same stage. The writer, director and choreographer of the two-hour production is the producer of the ensemble Hristo Dimitrov.
Tickets for the premiere cost from 20 to 100 leva, from the NDK box office and Ticketportal.