Saturday, 15 June 2024
Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas - The editor and big chief of The Dubrovnik Times. Born in the UK he has been living and working in Dubrovnik since 1998, yes he is one of the rare “old hands.” A unique insight into both British and Croatian life and culture, Mark is often known as just “Englez” or Englishman. He is a traveller, a current affairs freak and a huge AFC Wimbledon fan.


Benedict Cumberbatch is coming to the screen in Dubrovnik in his role as Hamlet. On the 13th of February at 8.00 pm in the Visia Cinema in the Old City of Dubrovnik a broadcast of the successful production of Hamlet by the National Theatre in London.

Benedict Cumberbatch, star of the globally popular Sherlock, appears in the title role as the Danish prince. Cumberbatch has won critical acclaim for his performance. “Benedict Cumberbatch's Hamlet comes into its own on the screen,” wrote The Guardian, with the Los Angeles Times saying that “Benedict Cumberbatch's 'Hamlet' is good and righteous.”

Hamlet at London's Barbican Theatre played for only two and a half months and all of the shows were sold out in minutes. The play, directed by Lyndsey Turner and produced Sonia Friedman, has been shown in over forty countries around the world and Croatian subtitles will be included in the Dubrovnik performance.

Tickets for Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch in Cinema Visia are available at 50 Kunas and can be booked via phone on 020 638-640

Dvorana Visia Dubrovnik

Visia Cinema to be the host for Hamlet 

The Mayor of Dubrovnik Andro Vlahusic is on an official visit to the United States where he will meet representatives of the producers of Star Wars, LucasFilm.

The eighth episode of Star Wars is planned to be partly filmed in Dubrovnik this year. And according to an inside source the mayor will meet with senior representatives, quite possibly George Lucas, on his trip to the United States. Lucasfilm are based in San Francisco, California and was founded by George Lucas in 1975. In 2012 Walt Disney purchased Lucasfilm for $4 billion.

During his trip to the United States the mayor of Dubrovnik also participated in the celebrations of the St. Blaise festivities in Los Angeles. The festivities in Los Angeles are traditionally organised by the Libertas Foundation and this year was a double celebration as the foundation also marked their 25th anniversary. The mayor thanked his hosts for their generous hospitality and wished them every success in their future endeavours.

Fresh on the heels that the Russian airline Red Wings has been granted permission to operate daily flights from Moscow to Dubrovnik comes news that another Russian airline is to fly more regularly to the city. S7 Airlines started operations between the Russian capital and Dubrovnik last summer season with once-weekly flights.

According to the Russian airlines recently released flight schedule for this year S7 has increased the number of flights per week to Dubrovnik. From the 2nd of June S7 will fly twice a week to Dubrovnik from Moscow, on Thursdays and Sundays, until the 4th of September. The flights leave Moscow’s Domodedovo Airport at 13.00 and arrive in Dubrovnik at 17.05. Tickets are already available online at start at around 200 Euros for a return ticket.

S7 Airlines has a fleet of 58 aircraft and operates to 87 destinations worldwide. It is also a member of the “Oneworld” airline alliance which includes British Airways, Cathy Pacific and American Airlines.

After a record year in 2015 this year has also started on the right foot for Zagreb Airport. January this year was the best January for Zagreb Airport since it started operations 54 years ago. In total Zagreb Airport handled 156,947 passengers in the first month of this year, an increase of 4.2 percent compared to the same month from 2015. According to information from the specialised website EX-YU Aviation this was the 23rd month in a row that Zagreb Airport has experienced a growth in passenger numbers.

Although the number of flights through Zagreb Airport in January 2016 was slightly down on 2015, by around 2 percent, passenger figures rose. This is an indicator that flights to the Croatian capital had a higher capacity percentage. Also the reintroduction of flights by the LOT from Warsaw assisted in pumping up the numbers.

Construction work on the new Zagreb Airport is well underway and due to be completed by 2017. The construction of the new Zagreb Airport is an investment worth 331 million Euros. The new terminal will spread over 65,000 square metres. Once opened the new Zagreb Airport will attract even more international airlines to the capital.

zagreb new airport

Visualization of new Zagreb Airport planned to open in 2017

With the lowering of the flag of St. Blaise and a service at noon today in the Church of St. Blaise in the centre of Dubrovnik the 1044th Festivity of St. Blaise officially ended. The closing ceremony traditionally takes place on the first Sunday after the Day of St. Blaise.

However the completion of the religious aspect of the festivities doesn’t mean that the end of the events connected to St. Blasie has ended, indeed 2016 has been declared as the Year of St. Blaise. Throughout the whole year there will be events dedicated to Dubrovnik’s patron saint.

The film world really has fallen in love with Croatia. After Dubrovnik was chosen to be one of the main locations for the Game of Thrones serial, and the news that the eighth episode of Star Wars will be partly filmed in Dubrovnik, comes news that a new film starring Eric Roberts will be filmed in Croatia.

“Someone Dies Tonight,” is an action-thriller that is due to start filming in Croatia next month, and the star is the brother of Julia Roberts, Hollywood actor Eric Roberts. The film production Dream Team Pictures, based in Germany, and Mind Films International, from India, will jointly produce the film.

According to reports the filming will take place in Eastern Croatia, in the Osijek County, and will last till May. The film is due to be released in 2017 and the film also features the cast of Maik van Epple, Jenny Paris, Claudiu Raymond, Roni Lepej, Nina Stern, Angelo Borer, Vjekoslav Jankovic, Vjekoslav Katusin, Igor Mihalj, Alen Borbas and Costas Mandylor.

Finally some good news regarding the Croatian economy, the European Commission have stated that their outlook for Croatia’s growth in 2016 is a rise of 2.1 percent. The EC had previously estimated that Croatia’s growth this year would be 1.4 percent but this week revised that figure to 2.1 percent.

“Growth likely decelerated in the fourth quarter, but all in all, Croatia’s economy is expected to have expanded by 1.8% in 2015. Benefiting from the strong momentum gathered in the second half of 2015, the recovery is forecast to gain ground in 2016,” the EC said in their report.

One of the main reasons for this promising financial forecast for 2016 was domestic demand accompanied by continued investments driven by EU funds, meaning that GDP is expected to grow by 2.1 percent this year.

However the European Commission warned that the high public and private debt in Croatia was holding back the economy. In 2014 the debt to GDP ratio in Croatia was 85.1 percent, that figure rose in 2015 to 86 percent, whilst the forecast for 2016 is for this figure to reach 87.4 percent.

While most of Europe is under snow, ice, floods or freezing clouds Dubrovnik is bathing in warm, winter sunshine. The cold northerly winds that blew last week in Dubrovnik slowly ceased and then out came the sunshine.

Whilst this weekend was full of sunshine and temperatures soaring up to the high teens don’t pack your umbrella away just yet as the forecast for next week is for rain and cooler temperatures.

Check out our photo gallery by Tonci Plazibat from Saturday morning in the Old City.


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