The Barbican Announces Theatre and Dance Programme From September to December 2018

The Barbican Announces Theatre and Dance Programme From September to December 2018

The Barbican today announces its September to December 2018 Theatre and Dance season. Tickets go on sale to Barbican Members plus on Thursday 15 March, to Barbican Members on Friday 16 March and to the general public on Monday 19 March 2018. Young Barbican tickets for 14-25 year-olds are available for all productions from September to December 2018 (excluding Imagined Touch). There are 50,000 Young Barbican tickets for art, film, music, theatre and dance ranging from £5, £10 or £15.

Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre at the Barbican said: "The Barbican's 2018, Centre-wide, year-long season, The Art of Change, brings risk-taking artists with new ideas to the Theatre and The Pit - who challenge themselves, challenge conventions and challenge perceptions. With a focus on artists from the UK, Australia, Ireland and France, and stimulating performances encompassing opera, music-theatre, circus, theatre and dance, our newly announced shows seek to provoke discussion and action by shining a spotlight on inequality and injustice. Many of the artists are award-winners, and many of the productions, some of which are experiential, seek a profound engagement with audiences and a desire to change society for the better."

The Art of Change explores how artists respond to, reflect and can potentially effect change in the social and political landscape. Three productions joining the line-up are: Spirit of Change: The Transform Pit Party (June 2018); Imagined Touch: the installation and Redefining Juliet.

Spirit of Change: The Transform Pit Party is an energising two-day programme curated by Transform, an engine room for bold, local and international theatre based in Leeds. Adventurous artists and performers from the north of England and beyond come to London to investigate activism, race and identity through interactive theatre, bite-sized performances, intimate storytelling and musical ritual.

From Australia, Imagined Touch: the installation is an immersive, perception-altering event in association with SPILL Festival of Performance in The Pit, directed by Jodee Mundy who makes her Barbican debut. This UK premiere is an experiential production seeking to reframe disability, as sight and sound give way to tactile communication.

Six actors, who typically would not be given the opportunity, take on the role of Shakespeare's heroine in Redefining Juliet in The Pit. Created by Storme Toolis from the UK, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair, this collaboration between the Barbican and the Royal Shakespeare Company is directed by Alice Knight and is a celebration of difference challenging perceptions of who can play the iconic role.

Previously announced productions, also part of The Art of Change, are: Blak Whyte Gray; Transpose: The Future; and We Know Not What We May Be.

Following nominations for an Olivier Award and National Dance Award, UK company and Barbican Artistic Associate Boy Blue remount the acclaimed production of Blak Whyte Gray in the Theatre. The triple bill, co-commissioned and co-produced by the Barbican, reveals a different side to their personality: a return to their roots and a celebration of their culture.

For the third consecutive year and this time over three evenings, the Barbican brings CN Lester's Transpose: The Future to The Pit, directed by Kate O'Donnell. Featuring UK-based artists from across the generations collaborating in performances of opera, poetry, dance and electronica, it considers, in a celebratory atmosphere, what tomorrow's gender, identity and individuality might look like. There is also a Weekend Lab led by Lester.

British artist Zoë Svendsen creates absorbing and engaging performance projects about contemporary political subjects. Her latest show, a world premiere in The Pit, We Know Not What We May Be, starts with a short talk by a visionary speaker (confirmed names include Kate Fletcher, Ha Joon Chang and Frances Coppola). Audiences then enter an installation where storytelling, interaction and experimentation initiate conversations about the shape that change could take.

The Second Violinist is the latest collaboration between internationally renowned Irish playwright Enda Walsh and composer Donnacha Dennehy, which won Best New Opera at The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards 2017. The performances in the Theatre mark its UK premiere. This dazzling modern opera unfolds like an unnerving thriller driven by a haunting and compulsive score.

Co-commissioned by the Barbican and 14-18 NOW, the UK's arts programme for the First World War centenary, Alice Oswald's extraordinary poem, Memorial, is performed on a grand scale by one of Australia's most celebrated actors, Helen Morse, and a 215-strong community choir. This European premiere is brought to impassioned life within Jocelyn Pook's transporting, otherworldly score, with movement direction by Circa's Yaron Lifschitz.

British auteur Katie Mitchell directs the Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord production and Barbican co-production of The Malady of Death (La Maladie de la mort). An intricate blend of performance and live cinema, the piece explores intimacy, gender, emotional paralysis, the male and female gaze and the potential for abuse of women within patriarchal structures. There is also a Weekend Lab led by Mitchell.

This winter the RSC brings three much loved Shakespeare titles from the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon - Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet and The Merry Wives of Windsor.

Polly Findlay directs Christopher Eccleston in his RSC debut in the title role of Macbeth, with Niamh Cusack returning to the company to play Lady Macbeth and Edward Bennett as Macduff, in a contemporary production of Shakespeare's darkest psychological thriller.

Erica Whyman directs Romeo and Juliet with Bally Gill and Karen Fishwick as the star-crossed lovers. This violent and devastating tragedy looks in the eye a generation of young people let down by their parents. Young people from the RSC's Associate Schools will play the Chorus, alongside the professional cast. The production will then tour in 2019, with more young people joining across the country. Romeo and Juliet builds on the incredible achievements of her 2016 production of A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Play for the Nation which united 84 amateur performers, 580 children and a professional cast.

Concluding the season with a change of tone, Fiona Laird directs the hilarious comedy The Merry Wives of Windsor, with RSC Associate Artist David Troughton as Falstaff, in a contemporary setting - with more than a hint of reality TV - as the RSC continues to take audiences on its journey through Shakespeare's canon.

Across the RSC London season at the Barbican there will be over 20,000 tickets available at £10 and under. Tickets for the RSC London season at the Barbican go on sale to RSC Gold/Silver Patrons on Monday 19 March, to RSC Bronze Patrons on Tuesday 20 March, to RSC Members and Barbican Members Plus on Wednesday 21 March, to RSC Subscribers and Barbican Members on Thursday 22 March and to the general public on Friday 23 March.

In The Pit, the Barbican presents the world premiere and Barbican co-production of Marathon, winner of this year's Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award. The play is an experiment with form, style, live music and pyrotechnics by a young group of collaborative artists, Alan Fielden with JAMS.

The Barbican welcomes back the contemporary dancer and Olivier Award nominee from Ireland Colin Dunne who takes on the 'undanceable' music of the virtuoso fiddle player and composer Tommie Potts. This UK premiere comes to The Pit as part of Dance Umbrella.

Yaron Lifschitz returns to the Barbican with his Australian company Circa and the European premiere of Wolfgang, a reinvention of Mozart's magical music for audiences from the age of three upwards, featuring two of the company's dexterous, daredevil artists and a musician.

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