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Area NewsReview T

RSC back at the Barbican – 3 year deal

hose of us who appreciate classical type theatre rather than some of the more avant

garde theatre and dance which seems to be the main oeuvre of the Barbican these days will welcome the three year collaboration deal which has been signed between the Barbican and the Royal Shakespeare company which will see at least a limited number of RSC plays returning to the venue. Barbican residents, particularly those who have been here since the Barbican Centre opened, will recall the theatre was built as the London venue for the RSC – and the impressive fly tower, hidden by the architects by constructing the Conservatory around it, will have been a pre-requisite as it is capable of holding three complete sets at once which is necessary for a theatre company which may be performing three plays in repertory at the same time. The new collaboration deal

between the Barbican and the RSC is still distinctly limited in scope. It has just begun with the much-anticipated completely sold out R

ich ard II with

David Tennant. It will continues in 2014/15 with Henry IV

, Parts I & II

and, at the moment, concludes in 2015/16. Alongside the plays both organisations will collaborate to realise an extensive creative learning programme over the three years. The RSC Education and Events departments will work in partnership with Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning to engage and excite new and existing audiences; including pre- and post-show events, intensive weekend laboratories for emerging artists, conferences and workshops for students and teachers and special projects in east London schools and communities. Richard II audiences will be able to

enjoy Costume Craft inside the Barbican Theatre’s foyer, an illuminating display that follows the journey of how a costume is made and maintained by the RSC’s Costume

Department, from first fitting to final performance, drawn from the RSC’s In Stitches exhibition in Stratford- upon-Avon. Henry IV

, Parts I & II will be

performed at the Barbican in December 2014, following its premiere in Stratford-upon-Avon and subsequent UK tour. The production will, like R

ich ard II also be directed by

Gregory Doran, who continues his exploration of Shakespeare’s history plays. RSC Associate Artist, Antony Sher, returns to the RSC to play the infamous knight Falstaff, while Alex Hassell returns as Prince Hal. Tickets for the Barbican run of Henry IV

Parts I & IIgo on sale in spring 2014. Details of productions in 2015 will be announced in 2014.


City of London brass band – now recruiting

ocal musicians – and budding musicians – will be interested to know that North London

Brass is starting an exciting new community music project, a City of London Brass Band, launching on 15 January 2014 and based at St Giles’ Cripplegate, the church in the Barbican. The vision is to develop an

ensemble that represents the rich diversity of the people who live, work, study in and visit the City. We are a traditional British brass band in format and we want to work alongside the Church in supporting the whole community and developing something original and amazing for local people. City of London Brass Band is

coached by experienced professional musicians and forms part of the North London Brass Network of established bands in Putney, Muswell Hill and Enfield. Although it expects to start as a modest local ensemble, the wider Network has lots of players, spanning all ages and experience, and the group certainly aims to bring its Massed Bands to perform from time to time in the Barbican. The organisers believe that every ‘town’ deserves its own town band


and the community of the Barbican and the City of London should certainly be no exception. There are more details about the North London Brass group philosophy and what it does on its website at http://www. Thus North London Brass would like to persuade local musicians of all backgrounds to come and join up – indeed, to come out of retirement if you’ve let it lapse! – and for people to come and learn and grow with the group. It is looking for people who play or who are willing to learn

Scene from the RSC production of Richard II. Picture ©Kwame Lestrade



horn, baritone, trombone, euphonium, tuba or percussion. So, if this appeals, please do get in touch asap to help them with their planning. Rehearsals will be on Wednesday evenings during academic term time at St Giles’. There will also be plenty of opportunity to perform with the other North London Brass bands and our existing engagements include places and events such as The Royal Hospital Chelsea, Wesley’s Chapel, The London Marathon, The Royal Air Force Museum London, Alexandra Palace and Dean’s Yard Westminster Abbey.


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