Barbican reveals new season line-up

Published October 3, 2016

The Barbican has announced its full January to June 2017 Theatre and Dance programme, which includes the largest ever dance offer across the venue, plus a number of world premieres.

The New Year kicks off with a world premiere in the form of the Barbican co-production of Blak Whyte Gray by Boy Blue Entertainment. This new triple bill reveals a different side to the company: a return to their roots and a celebration of culture.

Another world premiere is the previously announced production of the Royal Ballet’s Les Enfants Terribles, directed and choreographed by Olivier Award winner Javier De Frutos with Royal Ballet principal dancers Edward Watson and Zenaida Yanowsky.

Spanish choreographer Blanca Li will make her first appearance with Robot, in which a fantastical universe is created where humans and robots mingle and merge to the percussive beat of a ten-piece mechanical orchestra.

Ballet Black Artistic Director Cassa Pancho returns to the Barbican with a second mixed bill, commissioning bold choreography from Martin Lawrance, Michael Corder and Annabelle Lopez Ochoa, whose new piece is commissioned by the Barbican.

Emerging British choreographer and acclaimed dancer Julie Cunningham will bring a rare combination of dance and spoken word to The Pit. The double bill is a Barbican co-commission about gender and identity, with text by Kate Tempest and tracks by Anohni (Antony And The Johnsons).

British choreographer and visual artist Darren Johnston fuses digital imagery, produced by motion-sensing technology, with meditative choreography in Zero Point. A Barbican co-commission and European premiere, the piece is performed by a cast of Japanese dancers.

Kiss & Cry by Belgian filmmaker Jaco Van Dormael and choreographer Michèle Anne De Mey returns to the theatre as part of the London International Mime Festival (LIMF). A potent story of love and loss starring a dexterous duo of dancing hands in ravishing miniature landscapes, the production is filmed live and screened for a cinematic perspective.

Also as part of LIMF 2017, the Barbican presents Marzo, by Dewey Dell, in The Pit. A manga-influenced comic strip that straddles physical theatre and contemporary dance, the uncanny choreography is complemented by a discordant, electronic soundtrack and minimal narrative.

Complicite’s Simon McBurney directs the outstanding Schaubühne Berlin ensemble in the UK premiere of Beware Of Pity (Ungeduld Des Herzens), based on Stefan Zweig’s 1939 novel, whilst Artistic Director of the Schaubühne, Thomas Ostermeier, brings his highly acclaimed Richard III to London, starring popular German actor Lars Eidinger in the title role.

The Silk Street Theatre will host Barbican Artistic Associate Cheek by Jowl’s revelatory The Winter’s Tale, directed by Declan Donnellan, as part of its world tour.

Robert Lepage’s most autobiographical play to date, 887, receives its London premiere, following its successful run in Edinburgh last year. A riveting tale about memory, belonging and collective history is conveyed in a tender one-man performance animated by a transforming set. 

The season also includes the previously announced Toneelgroep Amsterdam residency. This includes the world premiere of Obsession starring Jude Law in a stage adaptation of Luchino Visconti’s eponymous film, the return of Roman Tragedies a month before, and a double bill later in the year, After The Rehearsal/Persona, based on the films by Ingmar Bergman. All four plays are directed by Olivier Award winner Ivo van Hove, director of Toneelgroep Amsterdam.

Finally, Shôn Dale-Jones returns to the Barbican with his solo show The Duke. It comes to The Pit for three performances as part of a tour which takes in the Unicorn Theatre, Soho Theatre, the Royal Court, and Theatre Royal Plymouth. The show has no set ticket prices – audiences donate what they would like to charity.

Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre at the Barbican said: “The new season announced today continues our commitment to bringing the very best genre-defying, boundary-breaking performing arts to London from around the world. In 2017 audiences will see companies and artists from Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Venezuela, Spain and the UK on our stages”.

Tickets to previously unannounced shows go on sale to Barbican Members Plus on Thursday 6 October, to Barbican Members on Monday 10 October, and on general sale on Wednesday 12 October.

"The new season announced today continues our commitment to bringing the very best genre-defying, boundary-breaking performing arts to London from around the world."