Barbican Theatre and Dance Announces January To August 2020 Programme

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The Barbican today announces its full January to August 2020 Theatre and Dance programme in the Barbican Theatre and The Pit. Tickets go on sale to Barbican Members Plus on Friday 25 October 2019 and to Barbican Members on Monday 28 October 2019. From only £54, Barbican Members get priority booking, discounted tickets (subject to availability) and pay no booking fees. They can also take advantage of exclusive behind-the-scenes events and the Members' Lounge. Tickets go on sale to the general public on Friday 1 November 2019.

Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre and Dance, said:

"Our new January to August 2020 season in the Theatre and The Pit sees a range of boundary-breaking artists engaged with today's fast-changing world. Whether by looking afresh at classic texts or giving a voice to those whose stories are seldom heard, these thought-provoking performances take us in new and unexpected directions.

"We welcome to our stages our Artistic Associates, our partners and the companies with whom we have long-standing relationships, and the creative teams making their debuts here.

"The internationalism of our programme remains as strong as ever as we bring work to the Barbican from across the globe. This time we have performances in French, German, Arabic, Dutch, Italian, Sardinian, Belarusian and English, as well as physical and wordless productions.

"We continue our commitment to be a welcoming destination for everyone with accessible performances, talks, Members' events and opportunities for learning such as our Weekend Labs."

As part of Inside Out announced today (see separate press release), a year exploring the relationship between our inner lives and creativity, encompassing events, exhibitions, screenings, live performances and concerts across all art-forms, in all of the Barbican's venues and public spaces throughout 2020, we bring The Glass Menagerie, Death in Venice, Isadora Now and Dogs of Europe to the Theatre and Last Gasp and DROWNTOWN to The Pit.

Continuing our relationship with Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe, The Glass Menagerie is a UK premiere and Barbican co-production, and stars French stage and screen actress Isabelle Huppert in Tennessee Williams's bewitching masterpiece about loneliness, lost dreams and illusions, directed by Belgian theatre director Ivo van Hove.

Internationaal Theater Amsterdam return to their London home as Ivo van Hove directs Death in Venice, based both on Thomas Mann's intimate novella and the author's own life. This theatrical adaptation by former Dutch poet laureate Ramsey Nasr includes new music by Nico Muhly played live by Britten Sinfonia and is a UK premiere.

Viviana Durante Company return to the Barbican in a tribute to the American dancer Isadora Duncan, a timeless feminist icon who made work that enabled women to express themselves physically on their own terms. Isadora Now consists of Dance of the Furies created by Duncan in 1905, Five Brahms Waltzes in the Manner of Isadora Duncan by Frederick Ashton performed by Viviana Durante herself, and a world premiere choreographed by Joy Alpuerto Ritter, and co-commissioned by the Barbican, set to specially composed live music by Lih Qun Wong.

Split Britches return to the Barbican with their UK premiere of Last Gasp, a call and response to urgent global predicaments performed by Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver from the USA. Also, on Saturday 13 June, Shaw and Weaver invite audiences to sit, think, dream and get involved in stimulating conversation during a free 'Porch Sitting' in the Fountain Room on Level G.

Rhiannon Faith Company from the UK returns to the Barbican with her new gritty dance theatre production DROWNTOWN which casts a light on people suffering from social isolation and holds up a mirror to community breakdown. There is also a Weekend Lab on 4 & 5 July 2020.

Co-founders of Belarus Free Theatre, Nicolai Khalezin and Natalia Kaliada are exiled from their native country and make theatre with their Minsk-based ensemble over Skype. Now the company make their Barbican debut with Dogs of Europe, based on the novel by Belarusian author Alhierd Bacharevic. This epic fantasy and political thriller about the dangers of looking away when authoritarianism takes root is a UK premiere and Barbican co-commission. There is also a Weekend Lab on 16 & 17 May 2020.

We are delighted to continue our relationship with Regent's Park Open Air Theatre to bring the transfer of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's iconic musical Evita to the Theatre this summer. Directed by Jamie Lloyd it enjoyed a sell-out season at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre earlier this year.

Barbican Artistic Associate Cheek by Jowl and Piccolo Teatro di Milano bring The Revenger's Tragedy (La tragedia del vendicatore), directed by Declan Donnellan and designed by Nick Ormerod, to the Theatre. Written by Shakespeare's contemporary Thomas Middleton at a time of growing social unease, the play reveals a government embroiled in shady affairs and a society obsessed with money, social status and fame. This production is performed by a charismatic ensemble of Italian actors and is a UK premiere. There is also a Weekend Lab on 7 & 8 March with Cheek by Jowl's associate Marcus Roche.

Sardegna Teatro and Compagnia Teatropersona also make their Barbican debut in the Theatre with their award-winning Macbeth (Macbettu). This UK premiere is directed by Alessandro Serra and sees ritual, rites and rhythms rooted in Sardinian culture lend primal, elemental energy to this all-male version of Shakespeare's play.

Ballet Black return to the Theatre for their fifth consecutive year. For this latest Mixed Bill, Artistic Director Cassa Pancho brings two world premieres: Olivier Award-winning British choreographer Will Tuckett explores ideas of home and belonging while South African company member Mthuthuzeli November contemplates the purpose of life in The Waiting Game. The new Mixed Bill is co-commissioned by the Barbican.

Regular collaborators Katie Mitchell and Alice Birch return to the Theatre with the UK premiere of Orlando performed by the Schaubühne Berlin with whom we have a long-standing relationship. Live cinema meets performance in this galloping romp through 400 years of history based on Virginia Woolf's 1928 novel on gender fluidity.

We continue our long-standing relationship with London International Mime Festival to bring Child (Kind) and Cold Blood to the Theatre, Chimpanzee and ROOMAN to The Pit and a trio of slapstick comedies to our cinemas (programme announced on 24 September).

Peeping Tom from Belgium return to the Barbican with the final instalment of their family trilogy, Child (Kind), a UK premiere. Developed from impressions of childhood shared by the whole company including co-directors Gabriela Carrizo and Franck Chartier this production arises from their fascination with the human psyche and the construction of identity.

Kiss & Cry Collective from Belgium return to the Barbican with Cold Blood created by Jaco Van Dormael and Michèle Anne De Mey - a story of seven surprising deaths performed by dancing hands in elaborate miniature sets, the action filmed live and transmitted to a big screen.

From the USA, Nick Lehane makes his Barbican debut with Chimpanzee, a UK premiere. This heartbreaking puppet play is distilled from the real stories of apes once fostered into American families only to be abandoned to science when they reached maturity.

From Australia, Fleur Elise Noble returns to the Barbican with ROOMAN, a UK premiere. Like a pop-up book, this tapestry of puppetry, projection, animation, dance, music and sound is about a young woman who finds escape from her monotonous surroundings when she meets a kangaroo man in her dreams.

In the cinema, The Slapstick Home comprises three American slapstick comedies from the 1910s and 20s with live accompaniment by Guildhall School Jazz Musicians. The films screened are Charlie Chaplin's One AM (1916); Buster Keaton's One Week (1921) and Laurel and Hardy's Big Business (1929).

Continuing our relationship with LIFT we bring French artist Phia Ménard to the Theatre with the UK premiere of Immoral Tales Part 1 - Mother House. In this highly physical, wordless performance, Ménard plays Athena. Using just scotch tape and poles, she painstakingly assembles a cardboard Parthenon as she invokes turbulent changes across Europe and conjures visions of a society facing ruin in this tension-filled, visually arresting show.

Barbican Artistic Associate Boy Blue bring their joyous biennial showcase to the Theatre. A Night with Boy Blue sees 70 performers take to the stage with exuberant hip-hop dance. There are also two opportunities on Saturday 30 May to catch a 30-minute afternoon taster as part of Barbican OpenFest.

Coinciding with Artemesia, a major exhibition at the National Gallery, Breach make their Barbican debut in The Pit with their acclaimed production of It's True, It's True, It's True as part of a national tour. This gripping dramatisation of the 1612 rape trial brought by the gifted painter Artemisia Gentileschi interweaves jaw-dropping court transcripts with history, myth, contemporary insight and moments of satire to ask: how much has really changed?

Diverse City make their Barbican debut in The Pit with Mid Life. Created by co-Artistic Director Claire Hodgson the show sees three women unpack their real-life stories of menopause with humour, honesty and keen observation.

Director Ofira Henig and actor Khalifa Natour from Haifa return to the Barbican with a one-man show which eloquently moves between storytelling, ancient drama, irony and humour to bear witness to the journey of those stranded in their search for refuge across Europe. The Bees' Road is performed in The Pit and is a UK premiere.

A screening of Boyz n the Hood in The Pit is complemented by Inua Ellams' Poetry + Film / Hack. Joined by a line-up of poets including the provocative and passionate voices of Barbican Young Poets alumni, they read new work to open and close the film - their words and verses responding to its blistering themes.

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