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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- 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
- Daringly freeform, this wise, often lovely domestic comedy from writer-director Mike Mills is first and foremost an attitude: Southern California, loose-limbed, Converse-clad and easing down the road on a skateboard. It’s 1979, and even though Ron...Read more
- Co-produced by Japan’s legendary Studio Ghibli (makers of ‘Spirited Away’), this elegantly spare and dialogue-free animated film casts a magical spell. Set entirely on a speck of desert island, ‘The Red Turtle’ wrecks you with its luscious hues: t...Read more
- If just thinking about Michael Fassbender makes you want to strip off all your clothes, ‘Alien: Covenant’ has a cure for that. David the robot, his creepier-than-a-serial-killer android butler, was the breakout star of Ridley Scott’s 2012 ‘Alien’ ...Read more
- If you know the Finnish director Aki Kaurismäki, you’ll know he makes the driest of dry black comedies that rarely put a step further than a Helsinki bar – with a quiffed rockabilly band and pack of cigarettes never far away. His film are gems of ...Read more
- The title refers to Flaubert. But Kafkaesque is probably a better way to describe this comedy-drama about one ordinary woman’s battle against the bureaucratic madness of the Chinese government to clear her reputation. Fan Bingbing (‘X-Men: Days of...Read more
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Things to do
The Japanese House
Explore how architecture and family life in Japan changed after 1945 with this new exhibition at the Barbican. The legacy of WW2 and the changing face of Japanese society wrought huge changes in the way the nation lived, and the way Japanese design principles...Exhibitions Until Sunday June 25 2017
The Japanese House: Architecture and Life after 1945
Snaking your way through the Barbican’s latest exhibition you will probably be met with an almost overwhelming desire to take off your shoes, so accurate is the 1:1 recreation of Ryue Nishizawa’s Moriyama House. Brought all the way from Tokyo, it’s impressive...Until Sunday June 25 2017
Helfgott brings his inimitable style of performing to Rachmaninov, Bach and Beethoven. Helfgott has had a career-long relationship with Rachmaninov's Third Piano Concerto, and this performance presents a rare opportunity to hear it in its version for...Classical and opera Monday May 29 2017
Physical theatre legend Robert Lepage received his best reviews in decades when this intensely autobiographical show about memory, forgetfulness and home played at the Edinburgh International Festival a couple of years back. Now '887' – named after the...Experimental Thursday June 1 2017 - Saturday June 10 2017
Things to do
Into the Unknown: A Journey through Science Fiction
Original concept art and models from Godzilla, Stargate and Dark City, original manuscripts by Jules Verne, new commissions and music, film and contemporary art come together in this huge summer exhibition capturing sci-fi as we know it. Objects from...Exhibitions Friday June 2 2017 - Friday September 1 2017
LSO Discovery Family Concert: The Firebird (Ages 7-12)
The full orchestra presents a fun and informative concert featuring music based on a theme, and with interactive elements. There are workshops in the Barbican foyers during the morning of and just before each concert.Classical and opera Saturday June 3 2017
You can expect mind-boggling visuals as well as Shakespeare's finest wordplay from the RSC's 'The Tempest': they've teamed up with computer boffs Intel and their 'Imaginarium Studios' to create swirling technicolour scenery. It'll be home to a family-friendly...Drama Friday June 30 2017 - Friday August 18 2017
Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
- 5 star:9
- 4 star:15
- 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.