The UK's leading international arts centre
The Barbican Centre, a vast concrete estate of 2,000 flats and a leading arts complex, is a prime example of brutalist architecture, softened a little by time and rectangular ponds of friendly resident ducks. The lakeside terrace and adjoining café are good spots to take a rest from visiting the art gallery, cinema, theatre, concert hall or library within the complex. The art gallery on the third floor stages exhibitions on design, architecture and pop culture, while on the ground floor, the Curve is a free exhibition space for specially commissioned works and contemporary art. At the core of the music roster, performing 90 concerts a year, is the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO). The annual BITE season (Barbican International Theatre Events) continues to cherry-pick exciting and eclectic theatre companies from around the globe. The Barbican regularly attracts and nurtures experimental dance, and the Pit Theatre is a perfectly intimate space.
|Venue name:||Barbican Centre||Contact:|
|Opening hours:||Centre Mon-Sat 9am-11pm; Sun noon-11pm. Art Gallery Mon, Tue, Wed, Sat, Sun 10am-6pm; Thu, Fri 10am–9pm. The Curve Mon, Tue, Wed, Sat, Sun 11am–8pm; Thu, Fri 11am–9pm|
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- A little orphan girl is snatched from her bed late at night by a big-hearted vegetarian giant and whisked off to an unwelcoming land of over-sized cannibals in Roald Dahl's much-cherished 1982 book 'The BFG'. For this movie version, aimed squarely...Read more
- Men! We’re awful, aren’t we? That’s the general theme of this spiky, witty, occasionally unsettling black comedy set on a not-quite-luxury yacht somewhere off the Greek coast. That’s where six fairly wealthy guys – not so much friends as loosely c...Read more
- Early 1970s Paris may have been a hotbed of radical politics, but rural Limousin is still deeply conservative and dominated by gruff male farmers in Catherine Corsini’s warm French drama about two young women whose fledgling romance is challenged ...Read more
- The all-female reboot of ‘Ghostbusters’ is here – pumped-up, subversive and often very funny. But before any fanboys make the leap from viciously criticising the trailer to viciously criticising the movie itself, let’s get a reality check on the 1...Read more
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The first piece in Ragnar Kjartansson’s Barbican show features ten male performers playing the guitar, singing in Icelandic and drinking beer. Playing on a screen behind them is a soft-focus sex scene, from a 1970s Icelandic movie, between a housewife...Until Sunday September 4 2016Read more
A survey of the varied work of the acclaimed Icelandic performance artist, including the multi-sensory experiences The Visitors (2012) and Take Me Here By The Dishwasher: Memorial For A Marriage (2011).Performance art Until Sunday September 4 2016Read more
The sitar player, accompanied on tabla by distinguished maestro Pandit Ramkumar Mishra, delivers a performance of acrobatic melodic lines and entrancing drones.Latin and world Sunday July 24 2016Read more
Mogwai Play Atomic
The ethereal, largely instrumental post-rock from Glasgow performs a live soundscape to accompany a screening of director Mark Cousins' acclaimed documentary Atomic: Living In Dread And Promise.Rock and indie Thursday September 15 2016Read more
London Symphony Orchestra/Gianandrea Noseda: Verdi
Gianandrea Noseda conducts Verdi's Requiem with Erika Grimaldi, soprano, Daniela Barcellona, mezzo-soprano, Francesco Meli, tenor and Michele Pertusi, baritone.Classical and opera Sunday September 18 2016 - Tuesday September 20 2016Read more
Leif Ove Andsnes In Recital
The pianist performs a full programme of classical pieces.Classical and opera Monday September 19 2016Read more
London Schools Symphony Orchestra - A Roald Dahl Adventure
Peter Ash conducts a concert performance of his musical adaptation of Roald Dahl's The Minpins.Classical and opera Wednesday September 21 2016Read more
London Symphony Orchestra / Gianandrea Noseda: Debussy, Haydn, Shostakovich
Gianandrea Noseda conducts Debussy's La Mer, Haydn's Trumpet Concerto and Shostakovich's Symphony No 5, with Philip Cobb, trumpet.Classical and opera Thursday September 22 2016Read more
Gyan Riley/London Contemporary Orchestra: Terry Riley
Gyan Riley and London Contemporary Orchestra perform Terry Riley's In C, plus other pieces by the composer.Classical and opera Saturday September 24 2016Read more
London Symphony Orchestra / Daniel Harding: Jack Sheen, Sibelius, Mahler
Daniel Harding conducts Jack Sheen's Lung, Sibelius's Violin Concerto and Mahler's Symphony No 4, with Nikolaj Znaider, violin and Christiane Karg, soprano.Classical and opera Sunday September 25 2016Read more
Average User Rating
4.2 / 5
- 5 star:5
- 4 star:11
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:0
The Barbican is always worth a visit if you are in the area, regardless of what's on. It's a beautiful complex which has so much to see, both inside and outside. I always wonder who lives around the Barbican as I understand the apartments / flats that surround it are housing designers / artists / locals which adds to its community feel.
This brutalism monster might seem scary on the first visit but the more you see it the more you love it! Ageing has definitely made it more special and in combination with the new activities it hosts, it's one of the most important cultural centres London is offering. Any kind of art exhibition can be found here from time to time, as well as theatre, music and cinema shows. And all of them always carefully selected and with special prices for young and older people. Even if you're not interested in anything that's on, visiting is still an experience itself -as it feels like a journey to the past- and you can always enjoy sitting at the ground floor cafeteria by the ponds or even next to them when it's sunny!
Check out my review of the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition at The Barbican Centre: http://eatwearwander.com/2014/06/30/sidewalk-to-catwalk/
I would love to do a gig here as this is London's answer to Carnegie hall on 7th Avenue. It is however sad to read the comments from the dissatisfied bride below. So anyone getting married in London should have a look at recommended venues: www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIB4nvvLkNk Notwitstanding, the Barbican does other things very well and is worth a visit.
I had a lovely wedding, the location was spectacular and I had a fantastic day as did all my guests. It ended rather abruptly though with the music being turned off at 11 on the dot. I can hardly complain, but I do have some serious complaints regarding the service. The food at the wedding was a much lower quality than what I was served at my tasting. The appetiser, which had been lovely at the tasting, held no resemblance to what I was served at my wedding and the creme brulée instead of being luscious and creamy as it had been at the tasting, was a stiff gelatine. After the wedding the staff didn't pack up my crockery hire correctly which made me lose my deposit and they were completely unremorseful about it, ignoring my emails and not helpful at all. The cherry on top of the cake, 2 months after the wedding, after we had settle all accounts the wedding planner started bothering us for another 600 pounds. We had spent the budget, the invoices had all been settled and he was haggling us for more money. Quite unprofessional.