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The Barbican announces Theatre & Dance 2024 spring programme

Barbican Theatre

Boy Blue’s Cycles, world premiere and Barbican co-commission (UK, 30 April – 4 May)

Isabelle Huppert stars in UK premiere of Robert Wilson’s Mary Said What She Said, with music by Ludovico Einaudi and text by Darryl Pinckney (France/USA, 10 – 12 May)

Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black double bill including a world premiere by Sophie Laplane and Barbican stage debut for Mthuthuzeli November’s The Waiting Game (UK, both Barbican co-commissions, 15 – 19 May)


The Pit

• The Barbican and MimeLondon present the UK premieres of:

      - Ambergris by Les Antliaclastes (France/USA, 23 – 27 Jan)

     Antechamber by Stereoptik (France, 30 Jan – 3 Feb)

     Entrañas (Insides) by El Patio Teatro (Spain, 6 – 10 Feb)

     This & That by Steven Wendt, Phil Soltanoff, Compagnie 111 (USA/France, 13 – 17 Feb)


Det Ferösche Compagnie make their UK debut with Castle of Joy (Faroe Islands, 28 Feb – 02 Mar)

• Previously announced, UK premiere of I want to be a machine by Norwegian artist Jenny Hval (10 – 13 Apr)

• Returning for an extended run, Zoo Co’s Perfect Show for Rachel (UK, 24 May – 9 Jun)


The Barbican today announces its next Theatre and Dance line-up beginning on 23 January and running until 9 June 2024. Launching alongside the acclaimed production of My Neighbour Totoro (21 Nov-23 Mar), the spring programme includes the launch of MimeLondon; world premieres from Barbican Associate Company Boy Blue and Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black; UK premieres by Robert Wilson (starring Isabelle Huppert), Det Ferösche Compagnie and Jenny Hval; and the return of Zoo Co. Tickets go on sale to Barbican Patrons today, Tue 7 Nov; to Barbican Members Plus on Thu 9 Nov; Barbican Members on Fri 10 Nov; and on general sale on Mon 13 Nov via

In the Theatre, the UK’s leading hip-hop dance theatre company and Barbican Artistic Associate Boy Blue returns home with the world premiere of Cycles (30 Apr – 4 May), the Olivier Award-winners’ first new show as a company since the astonishing REDD in 2019. Led by choreographer Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy and composer Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante, co-creators of the recent smash hit Free Your Mind (Aviva Studios), the cast of eight powerful dancers explore the rhythms and tenacity of our natural world in perpetual motion.

Over ten years since Robert Wilson’s Olivier Award-winning revival of his ground-breaking production Einstein on the Beach, the legendary director-designer returns to the Barbican Theatre with Mary Said What She Said (10 – 12 May). The avant-garde monologue exploring truth, loyalty and betrayal, makes its UK premiere, with music by Ludovico Einaudi and text by Wilson’s longtime collaborator Darryl Pinckney. Performing the title role of Mary Queen of Scots is another icon, star of stage and screen Isabelle Huppert, who last graced the Barbican stage with Phaedra(s) in 2016 and reunites with Wilson after Orlando (1993) and Quartett (2006).         

Back for a seventh year, Cassa Pancho’s Ballet Black bring their latest double bill HEROES (15 – 19 May). Choreographer Sophie Laplane returns, following her dazzling 2019 work, CLICK!., with a second world premiere at the Barbican. The piece (title TBA) will explore the complexity of humanity, heroism and self-acceptance. Originally co-commissioned by the Barbican and screened on the BBC during lockdown, Mthuthuzeli November’s The Waiting Game, an exhilarating piece about the meaning of life, will now receive its Barbican stage debut.

The Pit kicks off the Barbican’s 2024 Theatre and Dance season with a month of visually entrancing contemporary performance from four international companies, in association with MimeLondon, marking the twentieth year of collaboration with Helen Lannaghan and Joseph Seelig, the directors behind the former London International Mime Festival.

The four UK premieres are: Ambergris by Les Antliaclastes, a mesmerising tale of transformation set in the belly of a whale, told through a unique blend of puppetry, music and machines (23 – 27 Jan). The international premiere of Antechamber, combining cartoon, stop-motion, painting, object theatre and music in a tender and nostalgic love story about the power of the imagination, by French musician-artist duo Stereoptik (30 Jan – 3 Feb); the international premiere of Entrañas (Insides) by Spanish theatremakers El Patio Teatro which takes the shape of a curious anatomy class with a philosophical twist, examining the mysteries of what makes us human (6 – 10 Feb); and the international premiere of This & That, a playful hour of shadow puppetry, abstract digital projection and music mixed live on stage, performed by Phil Soltanoff (winner of the 2023 Jim Henson Award for Innovation) and Steven Wendt (Blue Man Group) (13 – 17 Feb).

Further productions in The Pit include: the UK premiere of Castle of Joy (28 Feb – 02 Mar), an intensely physical portrait of love, loss and independence by Faroese theatre company Det Ferösche Compagnie, who will perform in the UK for the first time, and the previously announced I want to be a machine by Norwegian musician Jenny Hval (10-13 April).  Wrapping up the season, Croydon’s Zoo Co return for an extended three-week run following last year’s sold out and award-winning world premiere of Perfect Show for Rachel (24 May – 9 Jun).

Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre & Dance at the Barbican, said: “As we launch this new season, we dedicate our main stage to partnerships that we have cherished for many years, with new work from Boy Blue, Robert Wilson and Ballet Black. We also make room for change and new voices, continuing to work closely with the team behind London International Mime Festival on their new venture, MimeLondon, welcoming back the equally joyful collaboration with Zoo Co Theatre, winner of the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award in 2022, and inviting Det Ferösche Compagnie from the Faroe Islands to perform on our stage for the first time. We are honoured to share work from some of the most important companies making exhilarating work here in the UK and continue our mission to bring the most celebrated and boundary breaking artists from across the world.”

Claire Spencer, Barbican Centre CEO, said: “We are so excited to share our spring offer of dance, theatre & live performance. At times such as these, it is especially important to remember the power of the arts to bring people and ideas together, to share different perspectives and to bring joy to our audiences and artists alike. The season is strongly rooted in our purpose across the Barbican - as London’s creative catalyst for arts, curiosity, and enterprise - presenting new, daring and joyful programming in our venues and connecting the artists to audiences.

Launching alongside the wide variety of cultural events, talks and so much more taking place across the Centre, I can’t wait to welcome back visitors returning or those exploring the Barbican for the first time, drawn in by the range of companies and highest quality work on offer.”  

Please download the press release for more information and full listings.