The Barbican presents Big and Small (Gross und Klein) by Botho Strauss
Sydney Theatre Company production in a new English language text by Martin Crimp
For immediate release: Monday 30 January 2012

Barbican Theatre, Barbican Centre, London, UK

Friday 13 – Sunday 29 April 2012
Press night: Saturday 14 April, 7.15pm

A highlight of the Barbican’s 2012 theatre and dance season is the much anticipated Sydney Theatre Company production of Big and Small (Gross und Klein) by Botho Strauss, part of the London 2012 Festival. Cate Blanchett, the Company’s Co-Artistic Director, appears in a cast of fourteen in Benedict Andrews’ acclaimed production. This Barbican co-commission has a new English text by Martin Crimp.

First staged in 1978, Big and Small whisks audiences down a rabbit hole and into a curious Wonderland-like world where Lotte (Cate Blanchett) is always trying to fit in. Following a break-up with her husband, Lotte finds herself a stranger to her own society and embarks on a search for human connection and a quest for belonging. At each stage in her journey she has unusual encounters with different people – strangers and acquaintances, family members, an old friend, but in this comedy of tragic solitude, reality itself keeps changing and Lotte becomes increasingly alienated from a culture she struggles to recognise. Like Carroll’s Alice, sometimes Lotte is too big for her surroundings and sometimes too small to be noticed within them.

Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre at the Barbican, said: Large scale international drama is at the heart of the Barbican’s theatre programme and we are delighted to be co-commissioning partners with Sydney Theatre Company and our colleagues in Paris, Recklinghausen and Vienna to present Botho Strauss’ extraordinary work, Big and Small (Gross und Klein). We welcome Sydney Theatre Company to the Barbican for their first visit in this important year. Cate Blanchett recently won Best Actress at the Sydney Theatre Awards for her performance as Lotte, and we are very proud that this production is one of the leading projects in the London 2012 Festival prior to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games .

Benedict Andrews’ most recent award-winning productions for Sydney Theatre Company are The City by Martin Crimp and The War of the Roses by William Shakespeare adapted by Tom Wright and Benedict Andrews (both in 2009). His other productions for Sydney Theatre Company have included The Season at Sarsaparilla by Patrick White and Attempts on her Life by Martin Crimp. He has been a regular guest with the Schaubühne am Lehniner Platz in Berlin and other recent work includes King Lear at the National Theatre of Iceland and Monteverdi’s The Return of Ulysses for London’s Young Vic and English National Opera. In May 2012 he will direct Caligula for ENO at the Coliseum.

The cast of fourteen comprises Cate Blanchett, Lynette Curran, Anita Hegh, Belinda McClory, Josh McConville, Robert Menzies, Katrina Milosevic, Yalin Ozucelik, Richard Piper, Richard Pyros, Sophie Ross, Chris Ryan, Christopher Stollery and Martin Vaughan.

Collaborating with Andrews for the first time is the award-winning set designer Johannes Schütz, and regular collaborators Alice Babidge (costumes), Nick Schlieper (lighting), and composer/sound designer Max Lyandvert complete the creative team.


Notes to Editors

Press Information
For further information, images or to arrange interviews contact:
The Barbican Theatre Press Office:
Bridget Thornborrow , Media Relations Manager – Theatre and Dance, +44 20 7382 7168,
Hélène Muron, Media Relations Officer – Theatre and Dance, +44 20 7382 7399,

Public information

Box office: 0845 120 7511

Big and Small (Gross und Klein)
By Botho Strauss
Performed in English
English text by Martin Crimp
Sydney Theatre Company
Directed by Benedict Andrews
13 – 29 April 2012, 7.15pm ( 1.30pm matinees on 19, 21, 26, 28 Apr; 4pm only on 15, 22, 29 Apr), Barbican Theatre
180 mins / incl. interval
£16 – 65
Age guidance: 14+
Press night: 14 April 2012

A Sydney Theatre Company production, co-commissioned by the Barbican, London and London 2012 Festival using funds from the National Lottery through Arts Council England, Ruhrfestspiele Recklinghausen, Théâtre de la Ville Paris and Wiener Festwochen. Part of London 2012 Festival.

About the Barbican

A world-class arts and learning organisation, the Barbican pushes the boundaries of all major art forms including dance, film, music, theatre and visual arts. Our creative learning programme further underpins everything we do. In 2012 we celebrate the Olympic year with many of our projects forming part of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival – it is also our 30th birthday year. Over 1.5 million people pass through our doors each year, hundreds of artists and performers are featured, and more than 300 staff work onsite. Our architecturally renowned centre opened in 1982 and comprises the Barbican Hall, the Barbican Theatre, the Pit, Cinema One (with Cinemas Two and Three opening in Beech Street in September 2012), Barbican Art Gallery, a second gallery The Curve, foyers and public spaces, a library, Lakeside Terrace, a glasshouse conservatory, conference facilities and three restaurants.

The Barbican is home to Resident Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra; Associate Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra; Associate Ensembles The Academy of Ancient Music and Britten Sinfonia, and Associate Producer Serious. Its Artistic Associates include Boy Blue Entertainment, Cheek by Jowl, Deborah Warner, Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre and Michael Clark Company. International Associates are Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra of Amsterdam, New York Philharmonic, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Gewandhaus Orchestra Leipzig and Jazz at Lincoln Center.

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About the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival
The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad is the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Spread over four years, it is designed to give everyone in the UK a chance to be part of London 2012 and inspire creativity across all forms of culture, especially among young people.

The culmination of the Cultural Olympiad will be the London 2012 Festival, a spectacular 12-week nationwide celebration bringing together leading artists from across the world with the very best from the UK, from Midsummers Day on 21 June and running until the final day of the Paralympic Games on 9 September 2012.The London 2012 Festival will celebrate the huge range, quality and accessibility of the UK’s world-class culture including dance, music, theatre, the visual arts, fashion, film and digital innovation, giving the opportunity for people across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Principal funders of the Cultural Olympiad and London 2012 Festival are Arts Council England, Legacy Trust UK and the Olympic Lottery Distributor. BP and BT are Premier Partners of the Cultural Olympiad and the London 2012 Festival.

For more details on the programme and to sign up for information visit