Teatre Lliure de Gràcia was growing to such an extent that in 2001 a new theatre was opened on Montjuïc, where the Palacio de la Agricultura was for the 1929 World's Fair. This newer venue has two spaces: the Teatro Fabià Puigserver, with a capacity for nearly 800 spectators, and the Espai Lliure, which can hold about 200 theatre-goers. The bigger space serves as a multipurpose room, and the smaller is ideal for seeing performances close-up.
The Generalitat-funded theatre, designed by Ricard Bofill in a neo-classical style in the late '80s, boasts a vast airy lobby and three fabulous performance spaces. Since taking over the post of artistic director in July 2013, Xavier Albertí has opted for a good mix of classical and contemporary pieces, including works by new writers, divided among a main stage and two smaller stages.
The Teatre Romea was a private theatre when it opened once upon a time in 1863. More than a century later, in 1981, it was taken over by the Generalitat, fulfilling the role of the National Theatre until the actual Teatre Nacional de Catalunya (see above) was created. A new management phase began in 1999 under Grup Focus, and since then the theatre has become a space for contemporary artistic works, with its very own company to boot.
The Tívoli is another of the city's grand centenarians. The original space was inaugurated in 1849, and since 1918 it's been standing proudly in its current residence, boasting a 'neo-rococo' style featuring rich mouldings and lavish golden plant motifs to complement the lush reds of the seats and curtains. These days the theatre is known for its eclectic programme including comedy shows, plays, classical ballet, dance and concerts.
British theatre director Peter Brook is credited with transforming this former flower market into a venue for the performing arts in 1985, when he was looking for a place to stage his legendary production of 'The Mahabharata'. After decades of fairly diffuse programming, the Mercat has finally focused in on national and international contemporary dance, and offers a strong programme that experiments with unusual formats and mixes in new technologies and live music. It also does a good job of supporting emerging dancers.
This space has the ramshackle look of associations for counter-cultural events. The theatre's mission is to support and build the capacity for experimentation, creation, production, exhibition, promotion and dissemination of professional artists. They also work on researching new body language and movement as well as new drama. L’Antic Teatre is an old, recycled space, but it has one of the best interior patios you'll find in the centre of town.
What better way to learn the local languages and discover how the city's heart beats than with comedy shows by local heroes Carlos Latre, Toni Moog and David Guapo, among others? The Capitol is Barcelona's home for Catalan and Spanish comedy.
This performing arts festival takes place in the cities of Girona and Salt – one hour by train from Barcelona – during October, November and December. It has become a benchmark event, where you can catch productions by Guy Cassiers, Propeller Theatre, Teatro Uniti, Cheek by Jowl, and Krystian Lupa.
A two-week dance festival (starting at the end of November) at Mercat de les Flors (see 'Dance' above) that brings in performances from around Europe, focusing on the fresh, the new and that which dares to go against the current.
Named after the city's Greek-style amphitheatre (Teatre Grec) on Montjuïc that forms such an integral part of its programming, this is Barcelona's major annual cultural festival. Every July, the festival gathers dozens of shows from around the world for a month of dance, music, theatre and circus. Some theatre performances are in English with Catalan surtitles.