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BARBICAN LIFE


Theatre previews


Tony Field’s previews of things to see at the Barbican’s theatres in the coming months.


Theatre, a 286-seat cinema and two art galleries.


The Master and Margarita Photo by


Bohumil Kostohryz W


Chris Ryan and Cate Blanchett in Big and Small Photo by Lisa Tomasetti


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e are now well launched into a very significant year with the Queen ’s


Diamond Jubilee , the Olympic and Paralympic Games and the Barbican Centre’s 30th birthday year. The new season at the Barbican gives the local population


a chance to experience world theatre and international artists without having to endure what we are warned will be impossible travel across London and a limited amount of West End theatre attractions. The arts centre is now Grade II listed and comprises the 1,949-seat barbican Hall, the 1,166- seat Barbican Theatre, the Pit


I have already intimated some of the 2012 events in my Christmas article but I can only emphasise how exciting it will be to have an opportunity to see Complicité’s return with a new English adaptation of Bulgakov’s “The Master and Margarita”, The recent fascinating success of “Collaborators” at the National’s Cottesloe Theatre will in March move to the larger Olivier Theatre with Alex Jennings as Mikhail Bulgakov and Simon Russell Beale as Josef Stalin. So it will be particularly interesting to have an opportunity to see this dramatisation of Bulgakov’s novel completed in the last months of his life in 1940. This anti-Stalin masterpiece remains timeless and affirms his place as one of Russia’s greatest 20th century writers. It will run in the main house from 15 March to 7 April.


The rest of April will give us a chance to see Cate Blanchett’s Sydney Theatre Company in Botho Strauss’s “Big and Small” with a new English text by Martin Crimp. Cate Blanchett will play Lotte who is whisked down a rabbit-hole into a curious Wonderland-like world in this comedy of tragic solitude. Blanchett has already been awarded theatre’s Best Actress award in Sydney for her performance. To add to this immense range of different international masterpieces, May will see the premiere UK production of Philip Glass’s “Einstein on the Beach”. This opera in four acts is one of the great artistic achievements of the 20th Century, rarely performed since its presentation in 1996 at the Festival d’Avgnon and the Metropolitan Opera House in New York. This new reconstruction of


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