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Barbican Theatre: What You Need To Know

By: Mar. 11, 2020
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The Barbican Theatre

Chamberlin, Powell & Bon's brutalist design is an instantly recognisable part of London's architecture; the Grade II-listed building formed the inspiration for the film adaptation of JG Ballard's novel High-Rise.

Formerly the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company, the Barbican Theatre was also the original London home of long-running musical Les Misérables before its transfer to the West End.

Here is everything you need to know if you're visiting - from food and drink to transport, ticket deals and accessibility.

Where to eat

Once you're inside the Barbican complex, there are a range of food outlets to suit your every need - and every budget.

Barbican Kitchen Located on the ground floor, and accessible from the lakeside entrance. The menu is family-friendly, featuring anything from meatloaf and mac & cheese to pizzas and wraps - plus one child (under age 12) eats free for each adult who orders a main meal. It's an open kitchen, allowing you to chat with the chefs and watch them at work.

Bonfire Found on the first floor and overlooking the lakeside, Bonfire specialises in burgers (including vegetarian options), but also offers chicken wings, fries, salads, and puddings. If you're in for a matinée then their brunch menu might be up your street - and there's also a children's menu.

Osteria Up on the second floor, this is a modern Italian restaurant that also overlooks the lakeside and fountain area. There are a range of menus, including à la carte, lunch, and pre-theatre (sometimes specific to particular productions), and the Aperitivi bar offers reinvented Italian cocktails.

Foyer Café Found on levels G and -1, the café is open all day and offers a selection of sandwiches, cakes, and soft drinks for anyone needing refreshment on the go.

Cinema Café & Bar Open all day, the cinema is just a short walk away from the Barbican Theatre. A range of hot wraps and hot boxes are on offer, as well as cakes and pastries to wash down with a coffee.

Outside the Barbican Centre

The Globe Located just down the road from Moorgate Station, this Nicholson's Pub specialises in pies as well as popular favourites.

Wood Street Bar & Restaurant Located in the heart of Barbican, this is just outside the main Barbican Centre but still only a short walk away. The menu ranges from arancini and risotto to the more pub style fare of fish & chips and burgers - plus it's updated regularly, both monthly and according to season.

Where to drink

There are also several different places within the Barbican Centre where you can find a ready supply of alcoholic or non-alcoholic drinks before a show.

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The Barbican's Martini Bar

Martini Bar Located on the first floor, this is the ultimate destination for cocktail fans. The menu boasts a range of superb quality classic and signature cocktails, as well as seasonal offerings which are refreshed every few months - and are often related to events on their theatre or art programme.

Non-alcoholic options are also available, plus a selection of wines, beers, and spirits. Happy hour is from 5pm to 6pm and offers two of the same cocktails for £12.

Members' Lounge This is found just across the way from the Martini Bar, and allows members to bring up to three guests in with them (this may differ at busy periods). A range of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are available to purchase, including cocktail of the month (£7) and wine of the month (£16/bottle). Happy hour is also from 5pm to 6pm, offering any cocktail for £6.

Foyer bars Found on levels G and -1, you can buy a range of beers, wines, spirits, and soft drinks. These open 90 minutes before performances.

Outside the Barbican Centre

Le Bar Located just down the road from Barbican station, this French bar offers a dazzling array of wines, champagnes, and digestifs - plus a cocktail menu with a Gascony twist.

LINO A converted linoleum factory between Barbican and Farringdon stations, their drinks menu includes cocktails, mocktails, beers, spirits, and wines. They make use of seasonal products, creating as much as possible onsite.

Ticket offers

For many productions the Barbican offers £10 day seats, available from the box office on the morning of the performance, as well as rush tickets on TodayTix. Barbican members pay no booking fees and also receive discounts on some productions. Access members also receive discounts on their own tickets.

Location and transport

Barbican Theatre is part of the Barbican Centre complex, which is set in the heart of the City of London, connected to the outside world by the Highwalk as well as regular pavements and roads.

By Train
The closest Tube station is Barbican, which is roughly four minutes' walk. Moorgate, Bank, and St Paul's (nearest Night Tube station) are all within 10 minutes' walk of the Barbican Centre. National Rail services also run from Moorgate station, plus Liverpool Street and Farringdon stations are approximately 11 minutes away on foot.

153 is the closest bus route (take the Silk Street stop), and routes 4 and 56 serve nearby Barbican Tube station.

There are cycle racks in Car Parks 3 and 5 (accessible from the Beech Street tunnel), as well as on Silk Street and Golden Lane. TfL bike docking stations are also nearby on Silk Street and Beech Street.

The Barbican Centre has its own car parks on Beech Street and Silk Street.


There are toilets on every level of the Barbican Centre, including accessible facilities.
Gender neutral toilets can be found in Cinema 1.

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Jesus Christ Superstar at Barbican Theatre


There are plenty of step-free routes into Barbican Centre, with lifts and ramps inside to help you to navigate the building itself. There are accessible toilets and accessible parking available.

There is an Access Membership scheme that is free to join, and entitles you to discounted tickets. Members also receive regular updates and the chance to receive large print and audio guides to the Barbican's listings.

A variety of accessible performances are programmed across Barbican venues throughout the year, including captioned, British Sign Language (BSL), audio described, and relaxed performances. It is advised that you contact the box office directly for captioned and BSL performances in order to reserve seats with the best view of the screen or signer.

While you're there...

The Barbican Centre not only hosts the Barbican Theatre, but also Barbican Hall (home of the London Symphony Orchestra and BBC Symphony Orchestra), The Pit (200-seat theatre), and Barbican Film (three cinema screens). Silk Street Theatre (Guildhall School) can also be accessed from the Barbican Centre and hosts a range of productions.

Barbican Art Gallery holds an eclectic range of exhibitions throughout the year, as does Barbican Library (on top of being a functioning public lending library).

Head out across the walkway to the Museum of London, which is free to enter and houses a wide variety of exhibitions, as well as hosting workshops and talks.

Contact details

Barbican Centre
Silk Street

Phone 020 7638 8891

Photo credit: Beth Evans, Johan Persson


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