London’s Barbican announces new theatre and dance productions for this autumn; the first since March 2020.
The first production to open following an 18-month hiatus due to the pandemic, is Poetry + Film / Hack – Rocks (13-& 14 October, The Pit) curated by Inua Ellams and Michelle Tiwo. The evening begins with a screening of the award-winning critically-acclaimed film Rocks, followed by readings of specially commissioned new work by outstanding Black female poets, including Barbican Young Poets alumni, who respond to the film’s themes.
Lois Weaver and Peggy Shaw, of queer feminist US theatre company Split Britches, return to the stage after almost two years with Last Gasp: A Recalibration (19-23 October 2021) in The Pit. As they gather audiences in the same room, but not as the same people they ease a little tension while hitting upon strategies for moving on in the aftermath of foundation shattering crises. To complement this world premiere, Weaver hosts Porch Sitting: Stepping Out, a stimulating and free online gathering of strangers, that gives audiences a chance to sit, think, dream and wonder about our collective future.
Evening Standard Future Theatre Fund-winner and Barbican Open Lab alumni Jamie Hale returns to the Barbican with CRIPtic Pit Party )19-20 November 2021) following the success of their sold-out Pit Party in 2019. Hale curates a joyful and uplifting evening comprising a mixed bill of creative, political and responsive work by d/Deaf and disabled performers.
Commissioned by SPILL in partnership with the Barbican among others, Gone, Gone Beyond (10-13 November 2021) is a 360° audio visual spatial cinema experience in The Pit in which fragments of familiar and experimental films interact with song and audio clips in ever-changing, kaleidoscopic and kinetic collages. Under her artist name, People Like Us, this is Vicki Bennett’s first appearance at the Barbican. Gone, Gone Beyond is her most ambitious work to date and receives a national tour starting in October and ending in April 2022.
The Theatre and Dance programme breaks out into Cinema 1 for a one-off screening of documentary film Alone which charts the astonishing political awakening of a multi-platinum-selling Ukrainian rock star Andrei Khluvniuk as he asks how his fame can make a difference. The film is brought to London by Belarus Free Theatre and is followed by a live Q&A. This will be the first in a series of events presented at the Barbican with the company in 2021/22.
Part of the Australia/UK Culture season, Lynette Wallworth returns to the Barbican with the European premiere of the Emmy award-winning Awavena (24 November – 4 December 2021, The Pit). Set in the Brazilian Amazon, audiences witness the transformation of Yawanawá culture, guided by the people’s first woman shaman in a 360° virtual reality experience.
The season will also feature Ballet Black’s work digitally, available via the Barbican’s Cinema on Demand platform, this Double Bill is a made-for-film adaptation of two pieces: Olivier Award-winning choreographer Will Tuckett‘s Then Or Now blends classical ballet, music and poetry, whilst Ballet Black Senior Artist and Olivier-award winner Mthuthuzeli November contemplates the purpose of life in The Waiting Game.
In the Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company presents The Comedy of Errors following its acclaimed summer season in Stratford-upon-Avon. Shakespeare’s ever popular fairy-tale farce of everyday miracles, mistaken identity and double vision is directed by comedy master Phillip Breen.
The venue is currently playing host to Anything Goes starring Sutton Foster, Robert Lindsay and Felicity Kendal. The song and dance hit opened to critical acclaim at the beginning fo the Summer and runs until 31 October 2021.
For more information see https://www.barbican.org.uk/theatre