Barbican Theatre

Barbican Theatre London

Venue Information

Barbican Theatre
Address: Silk Street, London, EC2Y 8DS
Nearest Underground or Train Station: Barbican (Metropolitan, Circle, Hammersmith & City)
Nearest Buses: (Beech Street) 76, 153; (City Road) 21, 43, 141, 205, 214, 271

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get to the Barbican Theatre?
Public transport is recommended to travel to the Barbican Theatre.  The nearest underground or train stations are Barbican (Metropolitan, Circle, Hammersmith & City). If arriving by bus, then the nearest bus lines are (Beech Street) 76, 153; (City Road) 21, 43, 141, 205, 214, 271.  For directions to the Barbican Theatre see our Google Maps directions or Apple Maps directions.
Is there a dress code at the Barbican Theatre?
There is no specific dress code at the Barbican Theatre, with most people just wearing their everyday clothes.
Does the Barbican Theatre have air conditioning or air cooling?
Yes, the Barbican Theatre has an Air Conditioning system.
What is the Accessibility at the Barbican Theatre?
Barbican Theatre accessibility information
Access phone number: Assistance: 020 7382 7348, Free wheelchair reservation: 020 7638 8891
Access email address: access@barbican.org.uk
Accessible toilets situated: Circle (within Theatre) Foyers (all levels)
Number of Wheelchair spaces: Stalls x4
Sound amplification: Sennheiser radio network
Access from street to foyer: Step-free access to Barbican Level G Foyer. Stairs and lifts to Theatre Foyer
Access from theatre foyer to seats (number = stairs): 28 to Stalls 27 to Dress Circle 20 to Upper Circle 15 to Gallery
Level access: To Row T in Stalls, Row B in Upper Circle
Stair lift, lift or ramp available: Lifts to all floors
How many seats are in the Barbican Theatre?
The Barbican Theatre has 1,156 seats.

Barbican Theatre Facts

What date did the Barbican Theatre open?

1982

Who designed the Barbican Theatre?

Chamberlin Powell & Bon (John Honer and John Connaughton), first with Richard Southern as theatre consultant and later with Peter Hall, John Bury and other advisors

What was the first production at the Barbican Theatre?

Shakespeare's Henry IV (RSC) directed by Trevor Nunn


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Theatre History

The Barbican Theatre is part of the Barbican centre, a cultural centre made up of a concert hall, art galleries, two theatres, a cinema and tropical conservatory.

The Barbican housing estate and arts centre was conceived and built to replace a large area of the City of London that was destroyed by bombing during World War 2. The first residential areas of the Barbican opened in 1969, but the Barbican arts centre including the theatre didn’t open until 3 March 1982.

The Barbican Theatre was built as the London home of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and the RSC were involved in the design of the auditorium. In 2002 the RSC’s artistic director Adrian Noble decided to not renew its contract with the Barbican; however, in 2013 the RSC’s new artistic director Greg Doran announced the company would return in a three-year season of plays.

The Barbican estate was designed by Chamberlin, Powell & Bon in the brutalist style, with the architects consulting on the theatre design first with Richard Southern, and later with Peter Hall, John Bury and others. The Barbican is Grade II listed.

The auditorium of the theatre has become much loved by audiences, critics and performers, with Victor Glasstone describing it in 1982 as “the finest medium-sized house to be built in Britain since the war and, by international standards, one of the greats”.

8 October 1985: Les Misérables

First ever performance of the RSC’s Les Misérables. Directed by Trevor Nunn and John Caird, the Royal Shakespeare Company and Cameron Mackintosh present the world premiere of Les Misérables on the Barbican stage. Now, Les Misérables is currently the world’s longest running musical, and has played to more than 65 million people in 42 countries and 22 languages.

5 Aug–31 Oct 2015: Hamlet

First NT Live broadcast from the Barbican – and the biggest single NT Live broadcast to date, seen by over 550,000 people worldwide. Directed by Lyndsey Turner, Benedict Cumberbatch took on the title role in Shakespeare’s great tragedy for an exclusive twelve-week run of this compelling new production at the Barbican. Produced by Sonia Friedman Productions.


Theatre Previous Shows

Past shows that have played at the Barbican Theatre include:

The Comedy of Errors - RSC Barbican
Anything Goes
The Taming Of The Shrew - RSC London
Measure For Measure - RSC London
As You Like It - RSC London
Jesus Christ Superstar
The Merry Wives of Windsor - RSC Barbican
Macbeth - RSC Barbican
Romeo and Juliet - RSC Barbican
Barry Humphries Weimar Cabaret
Evita
Titus Andronicus - RSC Rome Season
Antony & Cleopatra - RSC Rome Season
Julius Caesar - RSC Rome Season
Coriolanus - RSC Rome Season


📷 Main photo: Barbican Theatre

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