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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- Though faithful to the text of Shakespeare's The Tempest, Greenaway's characteristically dense film could hardly differ more from literal adaptations like Branagh's Henry V. Structuring its motifs around the 24 books Prospero took into exile (as i...Read more
- Animated feature from Disney in which the one true rival to the old coke-fiend lives down in the basement of 221b Baker Street. Basil, like his alter ego, plays the violin; he also has his Moriarty, in the shape of the magnificent Professor Ratiga...Read more
- Director Tim Burton likes his films busy: watch a classic like 'Beetlejuice' or 'Batman', and you'll be pushed to find a single frame that isn't packed with background detail, weird creatures, ornate furnishings and intricate costumes. The problem...Read more
- Clever old Bridget. There’s been a hell of a lot criticism of her for crimes against feminism. But here she is, triumphantly returning in her forties, less of a twit, funnier, wittier, and – perhaps most importantly – happier with herself. And unl...Read more
- New York filmmaker Ira Sachs is so humane he couldn’t write a villain to save his life. That’s even true in his latest film, the story of a family evicting a sweet seamstress on to the street. The Jardines are decent people: Brian (Greg Kinnear) i...Read more
- Taika Waititi – a core member of the New Zealand hipster comedy group responsible for ‘Flight of the Conchords’ – rambles into sort-of-family-movie territory in this massively endearing road movie on foot. There’s a strong whiff of ‘Up’ in its sto...Read more
Pick a dateto
This interactive performance from Collectif And Then invites the audience to become a part of a surreal machine, where your every movement sets complex mechanisms at play. Created by Francesca Hyde and Lucie N'Duhirahe in collaboration with the Serbian...Experimental Until Saturday October 8 2016Read more
Bedwyr Williams: The Gulch
The Welsh artist purveyor of bleak, absurd and appallingly funny art will be creating a large-scale installation for the Barbican's Curve. It's a notoriously difficult space to get right – apparently it'll feature a depressed hypnotist and a talking goat....Installation Wednesday September 28 2016 - Saturday January 7 2017Read more
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Oramo: Brett Dean, Strauss
Sakari Oramo conducts Brett Dean's Knocking At The Hellgate and Strauss's Ein Heldenleben, with Russell Braun, baritone.Classical and opera Wednesday September 28 2016Read more
The vocalist from Morocco performs Sufi worship music. Support comes from Master Musicians of Jajouka led by Bachir Attar.Latin and world Thursday September 29 2016Read more
James Holden & Maalem Houssam Guinia
A collaboration between the two musicians on a mixture of electronica and Moroccan music. Support from Etienne Jaumet & Sonic Boom: The La Monte Young Project.Dance and electronic Friday September 30 2016Read more
The singer from Iran performs the poems of Rumi. Meshk Ensemble supports.Latin and world Saturday October 1 2016Read more
Dynamic world music collective featuring 11 members (all based in Sheffield) who stunningly blend such instruments as the Senagalese kora, the Gambian banjo, and the Zimbabwean marimba with creole and bossa nova stylings.Folk, country and blues Saturday October 1 2016Read more
Stars Of The Lid
The duo comprising Adam Wiltzie and Brian McBride that hails from Texas, performs its post-rock and ambient material.Rock and indie Sunday October 2 2016Read more
Songlines Music Awards 2016 Winners’s Concert
The four winners of the competition, Mariza, Songhoy Blues, Debashish Bhattacharya and Sam Lee, perform their original material.Latin and world Monday October 3 2016Read more
BBC Symphony Orchestra/Oramo
The orchestra join forces with Shakespeare's Globe Theatre to combines music and drama for a performance of Antony And Cleopatra, featuring music by Florent Schmitt.Classical and opera Tuesday October 4 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.