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Most awarded venue, Barbican Theatre, celebrates the most awarded show at 2023 Olivier Awards

The Barbican Theatre was the most awarded venue at last night’s Olivier Awards, with a total of seven awards going to shows staged at the City of London arts centre. The Barbican stage hosted the most awarded show of the evening, My Neighbour Totoro.

Today we celebrate with our co-presenting companies and associates as they are recognised at this year’s prestigious Olivier Awards. My Neighbour Totoro won Best Entertainment or Comedy Play, Best Director, Best Set Design, Best Costume Design, Best Lighting Design and Best Sound Design. The gong for Outstanding Achievement in Opera was awarded to multi-disciplinary artist William Kentridge for his contemporary chamber opera, Sibyl.

 For over 40 years, the Barbican Theatre has been a home for thrilling live performance; a platform for large-scale, joyful plays and musicals, for diverse perspectives and lived experiences, cultivating audiences eager for new theatrical ventures and risk-taking artists from the UK and all over the world.

We are delighted and honoured to support our longstanding partner, the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), collaborating since the Barbican Centre’s very inception with ground-breaking productions launched on our stages, from Les Misérables in 1985 to My Neighbour Totoro in 2022. My Neighbour Totoro, a co-production between RSC and Japanese composer Joe Hisaishi, broke Barbican box office records for its original run and will return to the Barbican stage from 21 Nov 2023 to 23 March 2024 (tickets go on sale to the general public at 10am on 21 April 2023).

The Barbican has helped to raise the profile of international work in the UK, supporting companies to grow audiences with our 1100+ seat auditorium and our more intimate experimental venue, The Pit. We continue to forge new relationships with international artists like William Kentridge (South Africa), and by building trust with exciting companies returning over many years. As a major partner, we have been co-presenting companies with the London International Mime Festival for almost 20 years such as Belgian contemporary dance theatre company Peeping Tom. We have hosted five of their captivating productions at the Barbican Theatre so far, including their Olivier Award-winning production of 32 rue Vandenbranden in 2015 and 2023 Olivier-nominated production of Triptych: (The missing door, The lost room and The hidden floor).

Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre and Dance at the Barbican, says “Today’s world has never been more interconnected and interdependent, and the Barbican continues to proudly support international theatre companies present their work on our stages. It’s our responsibility, now more than ever, to give UK audiences and artists a chance to experience these phenomenal shows, ideas and different ways of imagining what theatre can be.

And we continue to present the best of international theatre with UK premieres this season by Cheek by Jowl (Life Is A Dream: La vida es sueño, 13-16 April 2023), Katie Mitchell (A Play for the Living in a Time of Extinction by US playwright Miranda Rose Hall, 26-29 April 2023), Trajal Harrell (Porca Miseria, 12-14 May 2023) and Michel R. Jackson’s Pulitzer Prize-winning acclaimed new Broadway musical A Strange Loop (17 June – 9 September 2023).