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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- Eisenstein's first feature also remains his most watchable; if his theories of montage and typage were already much in evidence, at least they had not yet turned into the over-emphatic academic tropes that marred so much of his later work. The s...Read more
- Simon Rattle’s love affair with the Berlin Philharmonic, arguably the classical world’s greatest orchestra, scored a triumph with an outreach experiment which combined 250 schoolkids in a performance of Stravinsky’s pounding primal ballet, ‘The Ri...Read more
- ‘Victim’ is a souped-up morality tale aimed squarely at the urban teen market that low-budget British filmmakers are increasingly finding ways to reach. Directed by TV helmer Alex Pillai, it’s downbeat and basic, with a fondness for jump cuts. It’...Read more
- Both engrossing and alienating, 'Solaris' was Tarkovsky's response to Kubrick's slightly earlier '2001: A Space Odyssey'. The Russian director took issue with what he saw as Kubrick's fetishising of new technology: 'Kubrick is intoxicated with all...Read more
- Music sounds better when you’re on the road. In ‘Baby Driver’, ‘Shaun of the Dead’ director Edgar Wright takes the car-chase action film – loaded with tyre squeals – and weds it to a cracking jukebox playlist. The result is the most supercharged p...Read more
- You might already know how the evacuation of Dunkirk in May 1940 turned out: how over 300,000 mainly British troops escaped from the beach and harbour of a northern French port while being bombarded by the Nazis. But the power of Christopher Nolan...Read more
- Sofia Coppola’s ‘The Beguiled’ is an exquisitely crafted drama of seduction, survival and sexual awakening in Civil-War era Virginia, with especially strong performances from Kirsten Dunst and Nicole Kidman as two teachers trying and failing to se...Read more
- Armed only with their cameras and a commitment to peace, Syrian citizen journalists take on the might of Isis (here seen swarming into occupied Raqqa) in Matthew Heineman’s inspiring documentary. As frontline, on-the-ground journalism goes, the fi...Read more
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Things to do
Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction
Many people see science fiction as the preserve of crater-faced, four-eyed virgins. There’s something about the combination of aliens, spaceships, nerdy science and dorky storylines that’s, you know, alienating. But science fiction, for all its niche...Exhibitions Until Friday September 1 2017
Trajal Harrell: Hoochie Koochie
Get ready to see some serious shapes thrown at the Barbican this summer! American choreographer Trajal Harrell will be showing a series of his genre-bending, age-spanning dance routines, in which everything from vogueing to traditional Japanese butoh...Until Sunday August 13 2017
It’s an agonisingly slow train ride from Stratford-upon-Avon to London and that might explain why the RSC’s style of performing Shakespeare sometimes feels a little out of step. But they’ve made a bold leap into the 21st century with this production,...Drama Until Friday August 18 2017
London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Simon Rattle conducts the orchestra in a performance of works featuring Helen Grime's Fanfare, Thomas Ades's Asyla, Harrison Birtwistle's Violin Concerto, Oliver Knussen's Symphony No 3 and Elgar's Variations On An Original Theme, 'Enigma', and Christian...Classical and opera Thursday September 14 2017
London Symphony Orchestra: The Damnation Of Faust
Sir Simon Rattle conducts the masterpiece by Berlioz that features Bryan Hymel as Faust, Karen Cargill as Marguerite, Gerald Finley as Mephistopheles and Gabor Bretz as Brandner.Classical and opera Sunday September 17 2017 - Tuesday September 19 2017
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Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
- 5 star:10
- 4 star:15
- 3 star:0
- 2 star:1
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The barbican is fabulous - one of those establishments that embraces all art forms, making them accessible to everyone. I've seen Waiting For Godot here, the ballet, Winton Marsalis.. I think your soul is made richer just standing next to that beautiful concrete slab by osmosis!
Love this building. Plenty of exhibitions plus concerts and cinemas. Many places to have food so you can spend all day there. Nice terrace to have lunch in a sunny day
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.