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Barbican’s Play On

Barbican's Play On

Play On at the Barbican this weekend

First Published 3 March 2016, Last Updated 4 March 2016

Families are invited to Play On at the Barbican Centre this weekend to celebrate Shakespeare’s incredible legacy as part of the celebrations around the world this year marking the 400th anniversary of his death.

Taking place from 11:00 to 18:00 on 5 and 6 March, the free festival will fill the iconic venue with playful experiences, interactive workshops, insightful talks, fun installations and performances with a difference.

Among the eclectic programme, drawing from the worlds of theatre, dance, art and music, are numerous educational and fun offerings suitable for families.

Alongside the performances taking place around the centre, family workshops available to attend include badge making with Codasign, where children can choose their very own Elizabethan-inspired family crest with a 21st century LED light twist, crafty T-shirt workshops with artist Reza Ben Gajra, and even the chance to invent new insults on the Shakespeare Insult Wall.

The Royal Shakespeare Company will be opening up its amazing wardrobe and showing how they create blood, guts and gore for the stage, while Orly Orbach’s temporary tattoo stand will give you the chance to find out what it’d be like to be inked with a sonnet or your favourite Shakespeare character.

For more information and details of events taking place, visit the Barbican website.



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We are now cancelling all performances up until and including 31 May 2020 to help us process existing bookings whilst we wait for further clarity from the government in terms of when we will be able to reopen.

We are so sorry that in these testing and difficult times you are not able to enjoy the show you have booked for and hope the following helps clarify next steps in respect of your tickets .

There is nothing that you need to do if your performance has been cancelled, but we do ask for your patience.

If you have booked directly with the theatre or show website for an affected performance, please be assured that they will contact you directly to arrange an exchange for a later date, a credit note/voucher or a refund. If you have booked via a ticket agent they will also be in contact with you directly.

We are processing in strict date order of performance, so you are likely to be contacted after the date you were due to go to the theatre. However, we want to reassure you that you will be contacted, and your order will be processed, but please do bear with us.

We’d like to thank everyone who has been patient and kind in dealing with their ticket providers so far and we are sorry that we cannot process your order as quickly as we would like.

Please do not contact your credit card company as that will slow the process down and put an additional burden on our box office and ticket agent teams.

In order for us to serve our audiences the best we can, please do not get in touch with your point of sale if you have booked for performances after 31 May. Please be reassured that if we have to cancel future performances you will be directly contacted by your theatre or ticket provider. Our producers continue to plan for all eventualities dependent on the individual needs of their shows and we will provide further updates on specific shows as and when they become available.

We look forward to welcoming you back into our theatres as soon as we are allowed to resume performances. In the meantime stay safe and healthy.

While theatres are currently closed, various venues and productions are making announcements for their individual shows, including cancellations and rescheduled performances. Please check with the individual shows for details.