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Barbican announces new digital content 23 July

For immediate release: Thursday 23 July 2020

Barbican announces new digital content

Inspired by the Barbican’s international arts programme, a curated mix of podcasts, playlists, films, videos, talks and articles enables audiences to continue to enjoy the Centre’s rich and varied programme.

Highlights of new digital content announced today include:  

  • The Barbican’s first full-length online exhibition tour – Curator Alona Pardo takes audiences on a walkthrough of Masculinities: Liberation through Photography – exploring masculinity in all its forms.
  • A free virtual ScreenTalk (live captioned) with Retablo director Alvaro Delgado Aparicio and Cinema Curator Alex Davidson.
  • Three new release titles available to view on the recently launched Barbican Cinema on Demand in August, including: Perfect 10, Papicha and Socrates.
  • Creative Learning - Remi Graves performs a new poem in Subject to Change: New Horizons, and in Careers Rewired, Key Stage 4 students explore career openings with prospective employers in the creative industries.
  • A new M-SET Activity Book, a step-by-step guide packed with great ideas to make a multi-sensory show at home, following the company’s Olivier-nominated family show To The Moon and Back in The Pit last year.

The majority of the digital content is available for everyone to read, watch and listen to, for free, at and via the Barbican’s social channels. In addition, podcasts can also be accessed by subscribing to the Nothing Concrete podcast via Acast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts.

New Digital Content – full details below

Visual Arts

A Curator-led virtual walkthrough of the hit exhibition Masculinities: Liberation through Photography

On Monday 20 July, the Barbican released its first full-length online exhibition tour, a walkthrough of Masculinities: Liberation through Photography with curator Alona Pardo.

In this 40-minute tour, we explore masculinity in all its forms, discussing themes of queerness, family and fatherhood, identity, sexuality and race, through the work of photographers including Adi Nes, Collier Schorr, Catherine Opie, Robert Mapplethorpe, Hank Thomas Williams, Sunil Gupta, Peter Hujar, Karen Fox, Kanel Na’ll Roach and Marianne Wax.

The film is available to watch on the Barbican's YouTube channel and on Read Watch Listen.


Free virtual ScreenTalk (live captioned) with Retablo director Alvaro Delgado Aparicio and Cinema Curator Alex Davidson
Mon 27 July, 8.30 pm

As part of Barbican Cinema’s commitment to screen the best in world cinema and keep audiences engaged during Lockdown, Curator Alex Davidson will host a free virtual ScreenTalk with the director Alvaro Delgado Aparicio, to discuss his BAFTA-nominated film Retablo (Peru/Germany/Norway 2017), on Mon 27 Jul, 8.30 pm.

The film is available to stream on the Barbican’s recently launched Cinema on Demand, a new streaming service showcasing the best international films and hidden cinematic gems, curated by the Barbican Cinema team and selected partners.

Following Retablo’s sold-out screening in July 2019 as part of Forbidden Colours –  a strand which celebrates queer-focussed films from places where LGBTQ+ people still face oppression –  audiences will have another chance to see this compelling drama set in the remote Peruvian Andes.

Segundo is a young apprentice learning how to make retablos – hand-made story-boxes depicting personal scenes – under the supervision of his adored father. One day, Segundo discovers that his father has been unfaithful to his wife with other men.

In this oppressive community defined by traditional values, where male intimacy and vulnerability are held in contempt, Segundo decides to keep this revelation a secret, even as it threatens to tear his world apart.

The ScreenTalk will be live captioned and is available to view (at the time stated above) on:

Retablo is available to stream from 24 July 10.00am to 7 August, 9.59am
Pay per view: Full: £6.00 | Young Barbican: £4.00 | Barbican Members: £4.80
Barbican Cinema on Demand

New release titles available on Cinema on Demand in August
From 7 August, Barbican Cinema presents three new release titles on Cinema on Demand: Perfect 10, Papicha and Socrates:

Perfect 10 
UK 2020, Dir Eva Riley, 88 min
Available to stream: from 7 Aug, 10.00am – 4 September 9.59am
Pay per view: Full: £10.00 | Young Barbican: £4.00 | Barbican Members £8.00

An aspiring teen gymnast's world is turned upside down with the arrival of the half-brother she never knew she had.

France/ Algeria 2019, Dir Mounia Meddour, 108 min
Available to stream: from 7 Aug, 10.00am – 4 September 9.59am
Pay per view: Full: £10.00 | Young Barbican: £4.00 | Barbican Members £8.00

Set in Algiers in the 1990s, writer/ director Mounia Meddour’s debut feature explores a sombre period of growing conservatism and its oppressive effects on the lives of a group of young women.

Brazil 2020, Dir Alexandre Moratto, 71 min
Available to stream: from 21 Aug, 10.00am – 18 September 9.59am
Pay per view: Full: £10.00 | Young Barbican: £4.00 | Barbican Members £8.00
After his mother's sudden death, Socrates, a 15-year-old living on the margins of São Paulo's coast, must survive on his own while coming to terms with his grief.
Barbican Cinema on Demand

Creative Learning

Subject to Change: New Horizons

Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning has commissioned an innovative group of Young Creatives alumni to produce powerful new artistic work that responds to the uncertain times we are living in and chronicles the next twelve months from now until June 2021.

The first creative response, by poet and drummer Remi Graves, is a performance of a poem exploring the process, privilege and politics of breathing, and went live on the Barbican’s website and social media channels this week.

Careers Rewired
Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning’s Careers Rewired project brought together teachers, creative practitioners and employers to co-design a project-based learning programme that inspired Key Stage 4 students from three schools around career opportunities in the creative industries.

Partnering with leading employers from the creative industry: Mixcloud, Double M Films and Guildhall Live Events, we supported the development of new collaborative partnerships between schools, artists, and employers – the aim being to address significant skills shortages for creative industry jobs by providing clear careers information and skills guidance.

The project has culminated with the development of a new learning resource aimed at teachers, detailing case studies from each school and sample exercises for developing students’ ‘fusion skills’ – a mix of technical and creative skills that people will need to thrive in the ever-changing 21st century workplace.

Careers Rewired was generously funded by The Edge Foundation, an independent education foundation which through its projects, research, policy, and campaign work, strives to make education relevant.

Family Film Club (June) My Neighbor Totoro Paper Puppets.

Learn how to make your very own paper Totoro puppet in part 1 of this workshop, inspired by the beautiful Studio Ghibli film, My Neighbor Totoro. In part 2, have a go at making the Catbus, another magical character that appears in the film. 

This workshop was made by artist, Reza Ben Gajra, My Neighbor Totoro is available to watch on Netflix.


From our associates:

London Symphony Orchestra – Summer Shorts Live Concerts

The Barbican’s resident orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra, began their Summer Shorts series last week with a livestreamed concert from LSO St Luke’s featuring violinists Maxine Kwok and Julián Gil Rodríguez. The series of concerts will take place every Friday lunchtime at 1pm and the concerts will be available to watch on the LSO’s YouTube channel - which already includes last week’s performance of music by Piazzolla, de Beriot & Daniel Kidane.

The performances will also have a small, socially-distanced live audience as part of the DCMS live audience pilot scheme.

Tomorrow’s concert (24 July) will feature oboists Juliana Koch and Olivier Stankiewicz, bassoonist Daniel Jemison, and harpsichordist Peter Whelan performing works by Joan Baptista Pla, Ignatius Sancho, and Jan Dismas Zelenka. The full list of concerts and programmes in the Summer Shorts series can be viewed here.

Serious Livestream Sessions

Barbican Associate Producer, Serious, are hosting the Serious Livestream Sessions on their Facebook and YouTube pages; from album launches to live event replacements and beyond. Sessions have included Abel SelaocoeRob Luft and Elina Duni, Stubbleman, Teddy Thompson, Lisa O’Neill, Julia Biel and Justin Adams.

All previous sessions are still available to watch. The next new live session featuring multidisciplinary artist GLOR1A (experimental RnB, electronica and hip-hop) will stream at 8.30pm on Thu 23 Jul.


M-SET Activity Book

Star in your own show, have fun transforming household items into characters and scenery, and create your own sensory journey.

This step-by-step guide is packed with great ideas to make a multi-sensory show at home. Learn how to transform furniture, toys, utensils and clothing into sets, props, sound and lighting effects, to bring your stories to life.

The fully illustrated activity book is ideal for children of any age. Let your imagination take flight and share photos or videos of your creations on social media using the hashtag #BringingTheatreHome

Available via the Barbican’s website, the M-SET Activity Book is also part of the Culture Mile Play Packs, a printed resource containing ideas for creative projects for families with young children to do at home, distributed to community centres and foodbanks in the City of London and surrounding boroughs.

Created by M-SET, the Activity Book has been specially commissioned by the Barbican for families during the Covid-19 pandemic. M-SET’s recent production of To The Moon and Back played to sell-out houses in The Pit, Barbican in December 2019 and has been nominated for an Olivier Award.

Previously announced digital highlights include:

  • A full video recording of Tunnel Visions: Array – the 2018 Barbican and Culture Mile installation in Beech Street Tunnel, featuring music by Finnish composer Esa-Pekka Salonen performed by the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus
  • A full video archive recording of Benjamin Britten’s Curlew River – the critically acclaimed 2013 production at St Giles’ Cripplegate staged by multimedia director Netia Jones, featuring Ian Bostridge, Gwynne Howell, Mark Stone, Neal Davies, Britten Sinfonia and Britten Sinfonia Voices.
  • The Barbican announced last week that a newly-programmed series of concerts will be streamed live from the Barbican Hall this autumn. The performances will be available on a pay-per-view basis and, depending on the Government’s advice at the time, the Barbican will also bring reduced live audiences back to the Hall for these events, once it is safe and permitted to do so. Programme details will be announced in due course.
  • The Barbican website hosts a collection of long-reads, videos and audio recordings on the recently reopened Masculinities: Liberation through Photography exhibition.
  • The Barbican launched Cinema On Demand on 10 July 2020. This is a new streaming service showcasing the best international films and hidden cinematic gems through independent on-release films, exclusive one-off titles and film seasons. Available to stream from home or on the move, the pay-per-view programme will also offer children’s titles from the popular Family Film Club programme, plus free additional content and virtual ScreenTalks.
    For further info please go to: Cinema On Demand
  • Barbican Cinema Curator Alex Davidson picks five films showing queer protest at its best - for the week when Pride was scheduled;
    all titles are available to view online and reflect the struggle for LGBTQ+ rights.
  • Family Film Club: James & the Giant Peach Animation Workshop
    Kids can make their very own animation with this workshop by artist Shelly Wain, inspired by Roald Dahl's James and the Giant Peach
  • Family Film Club: The Wizard of Oz Board Game 
    Make your own board game to play with all the family. Take a picture of your creation and tag us on Twitter (@barbicancentre) or Instagram (@barbicancentre), we'd love to see what you've made!
  • Queer-feminist theatre icon, Lois Weaver, re-imagines an online version of her Porch Sitting, inviting audiences to sit, think, dream and take part in conversation about our collective future.
  • Tuesday 28 July at 7pmNB please note this date has changed and the event is now sold out, however a limited number of press tickets are available, please contact: [email protected]


The Barbican reopened its Art Gallery and Conservatory on Monday 13 July 2020 and will welcome visitors back to The Curve on Tuesday 11 August 2020.

In line with government guidelines, new safety measures are in place including operating at reduced capacity, timed entry slots to ensure a safe flow of visitors through the space, with tickets needing to be booked online at in advance of a visit.

Details of when the Barbican’s other venues and public spaces will reopen will be announced in due course. Everyone who has booked a ticket for a cancelled or postponed Barbican event is eligible for a full refund. Information on how to claim this is published here. Venue hire will also resume in the future, in accordance with government guidance. 

The Barbican is encouraging audiences to make a donation so it can keep investing in the artists and organisations with whom it works. Audiences are also being asked to consider donating to the Centre’s Resident and Associate companies to support them through these difficult times.


Press information

For further information and images please contact the Barbican’s Communications office: 

Angela Dias, Senior Communications Manager for Theatre and Dance,
+44 (0)20 7382 7168 or [email protected]

Annikaisa Vainio-Miles, Senior Communications Manager for Music,
+44 (0)20 7382 7090 or [email protected]