While summer approaches, the Barbican has its sights set on Christmas as it announces its second annual pantomime, Jack And The Beanstalk, to be penned by Beautiful Thing playwright Jonathan Harvey.
Jack And The Beanstalk, which is scheduled for 1 December 2007-12 January 2008, follows last year’s Dick Whittington And His Cat, the Barbican’s first ever pantomime and the panto-writing debut of controversial playwright Mark Ravenhill.
Harvey is well known for his play Beautiful Thing, which premiered at the Bush in 1993 and had a West End run the following year. It most recently played in London at the now defunct Sound theatre last year and was made into a film in 1996, for which Harvey wrote the screenplay. Harvey’s many other playwriting credits include The Cherry Blossom, Babies, Boom Bang-A-Bang and Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club, plus he wrote the book for the Pet Shop Boys musical Closer To Heaven. His work for television includes the sitcom Gimme Gimme Gimme.
Jack And The Beanstalk is only the Barbican’s fourth ever in-house production, following The Black Rider in 2003, Julius Caesar in 2004 and Dick Whittington last year.
Before the panto season kicks off, the Barbican hosts theatre company Complicite this September. The company, which previously performed The Elephant Vanishes at the Barbican in 2003 and 2004, returns with a new devised piece entitled A Disappearing Number.
A Disappearing Number centres on the story of the collaboration between two of the 20th century’s most remarkable pure mathematicians, Srinivasa Ramanujan, a poor Brahmin from South India, and Cambridge don GH Hardy. The show is conceived and directed by co-founder and artistic director of Complicite Simon McBurney, with original music by Nitin Sawhney, whose Mahabharata is currently at Sadler’s Wells.
The show is one of the landmark events in the Barbican’s 25th birthday celebrations and runs at the venue from 5 September-6 October.