News Published 9 November 2011

Barbican Announces New Theatre and Dance Season

Including work by Toni Morrison and Robert Wilson.

Daniel B. Yates

Now in its 30th year The Barbican has announced its new season of theatre and dance for 2012, with a marked emphasis on co-commissioned international performances forming part of the London 2012 Festival, the culmination of The Cultural Olympiad.

Cate Blanchett will be returning to the stage in Sydney Theatre Company’s Gross und Klein (13th – 29th April), while Juliette Binoche will be appearing in a French-language version of Mademoiselle Julie by August Strindberg (20th – 29th September).  Complicite & Simon McBurney will be airing their new production of Bulgakov’s ferocious The Master and Margarita (15th March – 7th April) featuring an ensemble cast of Complicite members drawn from over the years, and London International Mime Festival resume their annual January slot with pieces from Cie L’Immédiat & Camille Boitel (18th – 21st January), Theatre Ad Infinitum (17th – 21st January) and Fleur Elise Noble (24th – 28th January).

As part of the World Shakespeare Festival Toni Morrison and Peter Sellars come together in Desdemona (19th & 20th July), a response to Sellars’s 2009 Othello consisting a conversation from beyond the grave between Shakespeare’s tragic Venetian heroine and the woman identified as the African nurse who raised her. Having previously directed a kabuki Twelfth Night, Yukio Ninagawa brings a Japanese language production of Cymbeline (29th May – 2nd June).

Swift on the heels of Lucinda Childs DANCE, comes the first ever UK performance of Robert Wilson and Phillip Glass’ apogeic touchstone Einstein on the Beach, An Opera in Four Acts (4th – 13th May), forty years after it debuted at the Festival d’Avignon and the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1976, and with choreography from Childs.  In collaboration with Sadler’s Wells ten works by Pina Bausch will be performed by  Tanztheater Wupperthal as World Cities 2012, a choreographic travelogue resulting from the company’s living in various global cities.  The brothers out of stadium indie rockers The National will be presenting their multimedia spectacle The Long Count (2nd – 4th February), an abstract song-cycle telling the origins of the world through the 1976 World Series of baseball and the first two books of Popol Vuh.

In addition You Me Bum Bum Train will resume their participatory adventures with a new piece co-commissioned by the Barbican, CREATE and Theatre Royal Stratford East, this time featuring 200 performers somewhere in a building in Canary Wharf (location and dates to be announced).  And Opera North return for a full-run with a production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Carousel using a full-scale Broadway orchestra and operatic-trained voices (15th August – 15th September).

More details are to be found on the Barbican 2012 site.


Daniel B. Yates

Educated by the state, at LSE and Goldsmiths, Daniel co-founded Exeunt in late 2010. The Guardian has characterised his work as “breaking with critical tradition” while his writing on live culture &c has appeared in TimeOut London, i-D Magazine, Vice Magazine, and elsewhere. He lives and works in London E8, and is pleasant.



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