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Barbican announces new online content as the Centre continues its reopening

Bryn Terfel laughing in front of the Barbican tower

Following the reopening of the Barbican over the summer – with the Art Gallery, The Curve, the Cinema and the Conservatory all now open to the public, the Centre continues its re-opening welcoming live audiences back to the Hall and livestreaming concerts online. Alongside these events, a curated mix of digital content, including podcasts, playlists, films, videos, and more, mean audiences can continue to enjoy the Barbican programme wherever they are.                                                                                                                      

Highlights include:  

  • Sir Bryn Terfel with Britten Sinfonia opens the Barbican’s Live from the Barbican autumn concert series on Sunday 4 October
  • First episode of Inspired, the Barbican’s theatre and dance in-conversation podcast, with Boy Blue’s Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante and Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle is now available
  • Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer exhibition opens in the Art Gallery. Curated by Barbican curator Florence Ostende, film, photography, and material from Clark’s practice will be presented alongside his legendary collaborations across visual arts, music, fashion and film
  • To celebrate Michael Clark’s creative friendship with musician Jarvis Cocker, the live set performed by JARV IS…, recorded within the Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer exhibition, is available for free via the Barbican’s website from Friday 16 October.
  • The BFI London Film Festival in partnership with American Express in Barbican Cinema 1
  • Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning’s third Creative Careers online session, Proper Leaders, is available online, featuring three game-changing young creatives Shannie Mears, Keturah Cummings and Ellie Pennick

All 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.


Live from the Barbican begins this Sunday with bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel performing with Barbican Associate Ensemble Britten Sinfonia in the Barbican Hall. The autumn concert series will run from Sunday 4 October to Sunday 13 December. For the first time, a series of Barbican concerts will be accessible online for a global digital audience through a livestream and, also, for a reduced, socially distanced live audience in the Barbican Hall.

Sir Bryn’s performance will include works by J. S. Bach, Gerald Finzi, and Ivor Novello. Full programme details can be found below.

Tickets are £20 for live audiences in the Barbican Hall, and £12.50 to access the livestreams. Discounted tickets at £5 are available to 14 – 25-year-olds through the Young Barbican scheme. Information about safety measures that are in place when visiting the Centre can be found here.


Sun 4 Oct 2020, Barbican Hall, 8pm

Sir Bryn Terfel and Britten Sinfonia: Live from the Barbican

Bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel, oboe Nicholas Daniel, Britten Sinfonia
Tickets £20 & 12.50 (livestream)

Johann Sebastian Bach Cantata No 82, Ich habe genug

Gerald Finzi Let us garlands bring, Op 18

Ivor Novello I can give you the starlight, arr Iain Farrington

Ar hyd y nos, Welsh Traditional Song arr Chris Hazel

My dearest dear, arr Iain Farrington

Ar lan y môr, Welsh Traditional Song arr Bryan Davies, orch Chris Hazell

Keep the home fires burning, arr Iain Farrington

For full details of the Live from the Barbican autumn concert series click here. The series continues on Saturday 10 October with Erland Cooper as he explores the natural world of birds, landscape and place, manifesting in an immersive collection of music, words and imagery.



In Barbican Cinema 1 

BFI London Film Festival 2020
in partnership with American Express
Wed 7 - Sat 17 Oct 2020, Barbican Cinema 1

Barbican Cinema is delighted to present a selection of films from the 64th BFI London Film Festival offering the chance to see the best new films first, from features, animations and documentaries.

Highlights from this year’s festival include Mangrove (UK 2019), a rousing tale of Black solidarity and resistance, by the multi-award-winning visual artist and filmmaker Steve McQueen, Ammonite (UK 2020), Francis Lee’s biopic about life of the 19th-century palaeontologist Mary Anning (starring Kate Winslet and Saoirse Ronan); and Supernova (UK 2020), Harry Macqueen’s sensitive portrayal of a long-term couple dealing with the onset of illness (starring Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci).

For further programme information:

Barbican Cinema on Demand

October’s programme features an array of world cinema, featuring films from Morocco, Algeria, France and Germany. Among the highlights is The Pan-African Festival of Algiers (France/ Algeria 1969).

Filmmaker-photographer William Klein captures 1969’s Pan-African Cultural Festival, and adds posters, archival photos and film footage, bold graphics and interviews with activists.

Trances (Morocco/ France 1981) is a music documentary focusing on the Moroccan band Nass El Ghiwane, it explores their inspirations and outlook and, in the words of Martin Scorsese, isa concert film like no other.’

On Read, Watch & Listen  Kevin Le Gendre offers his thoughts about the cultural importance of these two pivotal films, in a long-read.

Also streaming on Barbican Cinema on Demand is Peter Mackie Burns’ quietly affecting drama Rialto (Ireland/ UK 2020) and Halina Dyrschka’s documentary Beyond the Visible: Hilma af Klint (Germany 2019) about life and craft of the trailblazing – but overlooked – artist Hilma af Klint.

Two titles screen on Cinema on Demand as part of LGBTQ+ film programme Forbidden Colours, in partnership with the Queer East Film Festival in October. We’re showing Song Lang (Vietnam 2018, Dir Leon Lee) about the unlikely bond between an underground debt collector and his opera singer client, set in 1980s Saigon; and Tracy Choi’s haunting melodrama Sisterhood, (2016 Hong Kong/ Macao & Taiwan), which won the audience award at the Inside Out Toronto LGBTQ+ Film Festival.

Family Film Club in October presents Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs (Latvia / Poland 2019 Dir. Edmunds Jansons), a charming animation which was a highlight at last year’s BFI London Film Festival.

Barbican Cinema on Demand is supported by the BFI FAN Resilience Fund, awarding National Lottery funding, and the Mayor of London's Culture at Risk business support fund.

Read, Watch & Listen 

In addition to Kevin Le Gendre’s Long Read, Read, Watch & Listen will also feature a Curator’s Picks from activist and filmmaker Kayza Rose. About her selection which celebrates some of her favourite Black British stories made by Black UK directors she says:

'These films are historic in many ways. Pressure is hailed as Britain’s first feature film directed by a Black person. Stud Life is directed and written by one of the UK’s very few trans filmmakers, Campbell X. It’s important to remember, especially during the times of the amplification of Black lives being violated, that Black people make art, films and create joy too.'

For the full article please go to:


Theatre and Dance

Barbican launches new podcast series: Inspired

Inspired is a new theatre and dance-themed in-conversation podcast series in which some of the amazing artists the Barbican works with share their personal stories about the things that impact their work or influence them creatively. Part of the Barbican’s Nothing Concrete podcast, the first three episodes of Inspired will be released weekly starting on Wednesday 30 September.

Episode 1 sees co-founder and co-artistic director of Barbican Artistic Associate, Boy Blue, Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante talk to Oscar-winning director, Danny Boyle, about process, collaboration, unlikely inspirations and the power of film, music and British creativity. You can listen to episode 1 here.

In Episode 2, Jamie Hale, curator, poet, writer, performer and director, whose work, NOT DYING, was developed through our Open Lab programme, talks to multi-award-winning Australian comedian, Hannah Gadsby, who rose to international fame with shows including Douglas and Nanette. Their powerful discussion explores their experiences of turning trauma into art and how being truthful about difference could help improve accessibility of arts spaces for future generations. Inspired Episode 2 is available on Wednesday 7 October.

Winner of the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award, actor Dickie Beau, best known for breathing new life into the art of lip-syncing, speaks to mentor and friend, Fiona Shaw in Episode 3. The actor and director is renowned for her extensive theatre work and popular roles in film and TV such as Harry Potter, Killing Eve and Fleabag. Their poetic, and at times philosophical conversation navigates creation and perfection, the self on stage, intricacies of language and grabbing the audience’s attention. Inspired Episode 3 is available on Wednesday 14 October.


Visual Arts

Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer opens in Barbican Art Gallery

Barbican Art Gallery stages the first ever major exhibition on the groundbreaking dancer and choreographer Michael Clark. Exploring his unique combination of classical and contemporary culture, Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer unfolds as a constellation of striking portraits of Clark through the eyes of legendary collaborators and world-renowned artists including Charles Atlas, BodyMap, Leigh Bowery, Duncan Campbell, Peter Doig, Cerith Wyn Evans, Sarah Lucas, Silke Otto-Knapp, Elizabeth Peyton, The Fall and Wolfgang Tillmans. Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer opens to the public on Wednesday 7 October.

The Media View takes place on Tuesday 6 October, 10am-1pm. Book your slot here.

Alongside the exhibition, the Barbican share a specially curated Spotify playlist. From post-punk to Stravinsky, listen to the music that inspired and moved the maverick spirit of Michael Clark here.

To celebrate Clark’s creative friendship with musician Jarvis Cocker, Cocker’s recently formed band JARV IS… will perform an exclusive set of five songs across different rooms within the Michael Clark: Cosmic Dancer exhibition in the Art Gallery. The recording of the performance will be screened for free from Friday 16 October via the Barbican’s website.


Creative Learning

Creative Careers: Proper Leaders

Barbican Guildhall’s Creative Careers programme has been brought online to connect with young people, supporting them to feel creative and engaged through these uncertain times. In the third Creative Careers online project, Proper Leaders, the Barbican has collaborated with powerful voices from across the cultural landscape, asking three game-changing young creatives - Shannie Mears, Keturah Cummings and Ellie Pennick - to share reflections on their pasts, their presents and their futures and to offer advice to the next generation of leaders and creators in the cultural sector.

Their words are accompanied by a series of portraits by photographer Bardha Krasniqi who captured the three collaborators in different pockets of London that mean something to them.

To view the project and the Proper Leader portraits click here.