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Theatre previews Anthony Field’s previews of some of the shows in and around the Barbican. A

lthough my regular theatre column is devoted to the performing companies in the

City, it is always important to remember that the Barbican Arts Centre, along with Lincoln Arts Centre in New York and the Pompidou Arts Centre in Paris, is one of the world’s great achievements with its whole cultural and entertainment programmes in London. Thus the work on Arts, Exhibitions and Films are essential supplements to live performances.

The breathtaking production of the lavish Lincoln Theatre’s production of “South Pacific” will be in the main Barbican Theatre from 15 August to 1 October and the original Hollywood version of this musical will be in Cinema 1 on October 2nd.

In the meantime Barbican residents must be patient until they have the extraordinary asset of three cinemas on their doorstep.

By the time you read this the season of “South Pacific” will have been launched. Running until 1st October it will star the great American Opera baritone Paulo Szot who repeated Ezio Pinza’s original historic move from the Metropolitan Opera into the original Broadway production of this memorable Rodgers and Hammerstein musical.

Before “South Pacific” finishes its season and goes on its regional tour, the renowned Handspring Puppet Company will present “Woyzeck on the High Veld”. at Silk Street Theatre from 6 September. Handspring have been delighting London audiences with its work on “War


Horse” and its puppets are making their debut in transposing Buchner’s timeless tale to South Africa in the 1950s. Another different venue is at St Giles Cripplegate Church which will house the European premiere of Jericho’s House production of “The Tempest” from 21 September to 22 October. Also off the Barbican site will be the final visit to the UK before disbanding of the Merce Cunningham Dance Company at the Stratford Circus from 1st October before moving into the main Barbican Theatre from 3rd October for its eighth and final season here.

Opening on 18 October in the Barbican Theatre is a unique collaboration between Lucinda Childs, the choreographer, when her company dances to Philip Glass music in front of Sol de Witt’s black - and - white film. Thus we shall see live and filmed dancers seamlessly interact to create a mesmerising visual tapestry. The exciting international BITE season continues at the end of October in the Pit when the Teatret Gruppe 38 from Denmark brings a weird and wonderful interpretation of Hans Christian Andersen characters in “You Must Be An Angel”.

South Pacific Photo: Peter Coombs

Woyczek on the Highveld Photo Barney Simon

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