Olivier Award-winning hip hop company Boy Blue join the Royal Shakespeare Company, venue regulars Michael Clark Company and Dutch outfit Toneelgroep Amsterdam in returning to the Barbican in the coming months.
The hip hoppers behind the acclaimed Pied Piper will work with Japanese artist Akio Tanaka to bring a tale of five young offenders sent to a rehabilitation camp to the stage. Unknown to the quintet, their gaoler is also the guardian of a secret group of warriors whose mission in life is to protect a spell controlling peace and harmony in their kingdom. All it takes is one rebellious warrior and suddenly the five have an epic battle on their hands in this autumn production that mixes dance with martial arts and manga.
With far fewer roundhouse kicks, Toneelgroep Amsterdam, which previously staged the Antonioni Project at the Barbican, will bring Bergman’s Scenes From A Marriage to the stage. The tale of marital strife is given a twist in this new setting, with three couples simultaneously playing husband and wife at different stages of the relationship and audiences invited into intimate onstage spaces to experience the November production.
Fellow returnee, choreographer and Barbican Artistic Associate Michael Clark, has revisited last season’s acclaimed double bill and added a third piece to the dance puzzle for the triple bill which will run in late autumn.
Aside from returning favourites, including the Royal Shakespeare Company and its David Tennant-led production of Richard II (9 December to 24 January), the recently announced newcomers to the Barbican season are just as exciting, though will mainly be performed away from the Barbican.
Neon Neon, Super Furry Animals’ singer Gruff Rhys’ collaboration with LA producer Boom Bip, have joined forces with National Theatre Wales to create a new biographical musical inspired by the life of wealthy Italian political activist Giangiacomo Feltrinelli, who published Doctor Zhivago and died in mysterious circumstances. Written by Tim Price and directed by Wils Wilson, Praxis Makes Perfect will be performed at the Village Underground in Shoreditch from 4 to 6 June.
Also staged away from the Barbican this summer will be the world premiere of children’s theatre company Theatre Rites’ new production about economics, Bank On It, a collaboration between Australian contemporary circus company Circa and British vocal ensemble I Fagiolini, How Like An Angel, and the 2013 winner of the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award, The Paper Architect.
Today’s announced shows will run alongside an eclectic collection of music and arts programming including Tindersticks, a celebration of Benjamin Britten, an exhibition dedicated to Jean Paul Gaultier and a celebration of Sir Harrison Birtwhistle’s 80th birthday.