As part of a programme of events to mark the tragic 50th anniversary of the Turkish invasion and continued illegal occupation of one-third of the Republic of Cyprus, the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK organised the musical theatrical performance “Letters to Mother” on Friday 28 June at the Millfield Theatre in London. The performance is a trilogy from the poetry collection of the award-winning Cypriot poet Costas Montis. The trilogy covers different periods of Cypriot history starting from the liberation struggle of EOKA 1955-59 and concluding with the aftermath of the Turkish invasion of 1974. In his poems, he describes the despair, frustration, anxiety and dangers of the newly independent Republic of Cyprus.

The powerful monologue by Costas Montis, accompanied by the musical composition of George Kalogirou, deeply moved the audience in the packed theatre. Elena Hadjiafxenti with her unique and powerful performance, struck an emotional chord with the audience. The performance took the audience on a journey through two decades of drama and suffering in Cyprus, capturing both the pain of the people of the country, and their concerns for the uncertain future ahead. The successful evening concluded with a standing ovation for the performers.

The choirs of the Greek schools of our community of St George Kingston, Manor Hill and Finchley opened the evening. The children of the St. George choir sang “Agni Parthene Despina” and “Karteroume” under the direction of Georgia Antoniou and George Liosis on guitar; the combined choir of Manor Hill and Finchley sang “tou Vagori” and “tis Dikeosynis Helie Noite” under the direction of Glykeria Kissa, and the participation of music teachers Sophia Douklia (singing), Andreas Ziarka (percussion) and Thodoris Liousas on accordion.

The President of the National Federation of Cypriots in the UK, Christos Karaolis, in his opening remarks, emphatically condemned the tragic anniversary of the 50th anniversary of the coup and the Turkish invasion, saying that “our community continues its united and tireless struggle for a just, viable and functional solution, for a free and reunited Cyprus”. He also reminded the audience that “it is the responsibility and duty of our community to vote in the upcoming general election on July 4 and to support those candidates who have demonstrated their support for Cyprus.”

The event was attended by the High Commissioner of the Republic of Cyprus Kyriakόs Kouros, the representative of the Greek Embassy Stavroula Metaxa, His Eminence Metropolitan Athanasios, His Grace Bishop Iakovos, as well as other members of the Cyprus High Commission, the Cyprus Educational Mission, the Clergy, UK branches of Cypriot political parties and other Federation member organizations, among others.

Our warm thanks to everyone involved in the performance:

Costas Montis Charitable, Scientific and Cultural Foundation.

Music Composition: Giorgos Kalogirou

Narration, acting, vocals, direction: Elena Hatziafxendi

Flute: Eva Stavrou

Santouri: Maria Christodoulou

Lute, Guitar, Uti: Giorgos Kalogirou

Stage & Costume Design: Miranda Theodoridou

Literary Editor & Text Selection: Pantelis Voutouris

Lighting Design: George Lazoglou

Stage Manager: Afxentis Hatziafxentis

Supertitles creation and handling: George Nikolaou

Supertitles Editor: Kyriaki Hatziafxendi

Communications Editor: Maria Georgiou