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.
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- Full of the sleepy rhythms of rural life, this beautiful-looking French drama has a powerful story of emancipation stitched into its period garb. It’s set over a five-year period that takes in the early days of the Great War and runs through to it...Read more
- The title of Dominic Savage’s gripping drama has the ring of a thriller or a prison break movie. The reality is vastly different. Far closer, in fact, to real life. But thanks to a breathtaking performance from Gemma Arterton as a depressed woman ...Read more
- Fulfilling humankind’s urgent need for cuddly stuffed bears in the marmalade-sweet wake of ‘Paddington 2’, Disney’s live-action-animation hybrid ‘Christopher Robin’ – starring the honey-loving Pooh – is big-hearted yet unexciting. While the newl...Read more
- The internet is black magic; the addict in you would have loved it.’ Mark Cousins begins his cine-love-letter to Orson Welles by filling him in on what he’s missed since his death in 1985. For the majority of this esoteric but enjoyable doc, thoug...Read more
- If you’re not familiar with Paraguayan cinema, that’s hardly surprising: the South American country produced a handful of films during the entire twentieth century. But it only takes a single filmmaker – a Bergman, von Trier or Haneke – to put a c...Read more
Pick a dateto
Dorothea Lange: ‘Politics of Seeing’ review
You can see why the Barbican is running these shows of Dorothea Lange and Vanessa Winship together. There’s plenty of overlap in their work: dislocation, displacement, the way that women, children, buildings, landscapes and even cars reflect societal...Photography Until Sunday September 2 2018
Vanessa Winship: And Time Folds review
You can see why the Barbican is showing these shows of Dorothea Lange and Vanessa Winship together. There’s plenty of overlap in their work: dislocation, displacement, the way that women, children, buildings and landscapes reflect societal collapse, and...Contemporary art Until Sunday September 2 2018
Things to do
Alternate Realities at The Barbican
We’re often bombarded with stories of how alienating tech can be but we challenge you to come out of this interactive exhibition and not empathise with the stories told. Originally screened at Sheffield Doc/Fest, the four installations include Grenfell...Until Monday August 27 2018
Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy and the Avant-garde
Not only were the Avant-garde movements of the early 20th century a hotbed of creativity, they also inspired a number of intimate relationships - both erotic and platonic - between virtually everyone involved. Whilst featuring a low down on around 40...Mixed media Wednesday October 10 2018 - Sunday January 27 2019
The National Theatre's recent dud of a ‘Macbeth’ has set the stage for a more robust 2018 production of the Scottish play. And the RSC has gladly obliged with this imposing-looking production from Polly Findlay, starring Christopher Eccleston in his RSC...Shakespeare Monday October 15 2018 - Friday January 18 2019
Average User Rating
4.3 / 5
- 5 star:14
- 4 star:22
- 3 star:1
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:0
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.