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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- In celebration of the tube’s 150th anniversary comes this painstakingly restored print of a classic British silent movie, which unfolds in and around the London Underground of 1928. Eyes meet across a Northern Line carriage and soon Bert (Cyril Mc...Read more
- A feisty young go-getter rises above the male-dominated world in which she lives to survive the perils of war and, eventually, to bring honour to her family. The Huns have invaded China; hence the Emperor's call to arms demanding one male from eve...Read more
- Quietly epic, sad but never sentimental, and blissfully at ease with sex as life not death, ‘120 Beats Per Minute’ throws us into the debates and protests of Act-Up Paris, an Aids awareness campaigning group in early 1990s Paris. We follow Act-Up ...Read more
- ‘It’s not a job for a woman,’ warns comic Lenny (Alun Armstrong) when he’s approached by Maxine Peake’s aspiring stand-up for a spot on the working men’s club circuit – but that only makes her more determined. That Peake’s character is known only ...Read more
- Forget the title, the wild frontier in this contemporary drama is actually backwoods Bulgaria, where rough-hewn German construction workers are building a new road. It’s not exactly going well, either: there are water supply issues and gravel prob...Read more
- A father-son drama for anyone who finds ‘There Will Be Blood’ too cosy in its depiction of paternal love, ‘Custody’ is a bleakly intimate and terrifically sad look at a splintered family in freefall. The only thing that isn’t moving about French d...Read more
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Things to do
Make! A Season of Contemporary Craft
Get your busy hands stuck into a whole range of crafts at The Barbican shop's 'Make! A Season of Contemporar Craft'. Through events, talks, installation and practical workmanship they're inviting visitors to explore traditional crafts with a contemporary...Classes and workshops Until Sunday June 3 2018
Another Kind of Life: Photography on the Margins review
From its earliest days, photography has probed the hidden: from porn to politics, it’s been there and brought back the evidence. Beyond that, though, is a shadowy place where photographers become so tangled up in what they’re chronicling that roles become...Photography Until Sunday May 27 2018
Yto Barrada: Agadir review
An earthquake has rocked the city of Agadir. Its buildings have crumbled, its people are wandering the streets in shock. How do you rebuild after disaster and tragedy has struck? That’s the question at the heart of a 1967 novel by Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine...Installation Until Sunday May 20 2018
‘Pericles (Périclès, Prince de Tyr)’ review
Duking it out with ‘Cymbeline’ for the title of Shakespeare’s weirdest play, ‘Pericles’ is one long fever dream. An exiled prince puts himself at the sea’s mercy, discovering kingdom after kingdom, and losing and finding his wife and daughter along the...Shakespeare Until Saturday April 21 2018
‘The Encounter’ review
Interview: Simon McBurney on ‘The Encounter’ ‘The Encounter’ begins with performer/creator Simon McBurney telling us that right now he should be at home telling his daughter a bedtime story. He’s not, of course. He’s here on the stage of the Barbican...Experimental Until Saturday May 5 2018
Kenneth MacMillan: Steps Back in Time
Viviana Durante Company pay homage to the choreographer who revolutionised ballet with this night of dance classics. Viviana Durante worked with Kenneth MacMillan during his long reign at the Royal Ballet, where he found a new dance language that fused...Ballet Until Saturday April 21 2018
Unexploded Ordnances (UXO)
US performers Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver – aka Split Britches – take on the role of a bombastic general and ineffectual president in a show that riffs on the film 'Dr Strangelove' in which 12 audience members are invited on stage to take on the role of...Experimental Tuesday May 15 2018 - Saturday May 19 2018
Unexploded Ordnances (UXO)
Lesbian feminist theatre pioneers Split Britches are back at the Barbican with a show about looking forward into an uncertain future. 'Unexploded Ordnances' is a metaphor for the untapped potential of older people, which they'll explore in a show that...Tuesday May 15 2018 - Saturday May 19 2018
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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.