In a press statement, Louise Jeffreys, director of the arts for the Barbican, commented, "We're continuing to invest in artists working at the forefront of the arts and technology through presenting a collaboration between Katie Mitchell and Schaubühne Berlin as well as welcoming Robert Lepage back to the Barbican and co-producing Complicite's acclaimed The Encounter. And we’re delighted to present a uniquely Barbican programme to mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death with productions including Forced Entertainment's Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare which presents all the Bard's 36 plays on a table top using a cast of everyday objects."
Phaedra(s), relocating Phaedra's story to a modern world, will be staged by Krzysztof Warlikowski, artistic director of Warsaw’s Nowy Teatr. Based on the provocative text of Sarah Kane's Phaedra's Love and incorporating extracts from J M Coetzee's novel "Elizabeth Costello," it also introduces fresh material in collaboration with the Lebanese-Canadian playwright Wajdi Mouawad. It is performed in French with English surtitles.
Mitchell will direct Schaubühne Berlin’s ensemble in the U.K. premiere of The Forbidden Zone, featuring texts by Virginia Woolf and Mary Borden, and real-time creation onstage of cinematic-quality film.
Lepage's Needles and Opium, inspired by the lives of Jean Cocteau and Miles Davies, will be presented in a tilting cube, with projections, a jazz soundtrack and poetic performances.
Complicite's The Encounter, directed and performed by Simon McBurney and based on the story of photographer Loren McIntyre's journey in the Amazon rainforest, features binaural technology transmitted direct to the audience through provided headphones. The Barbican will mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare's death with productions that will include:
- Forced Entertainment's Complete Works: Table Top Shakespeare, presenting 36 plays on a table top using a cast of everyday objects;
- Toneelgroep Amsterdam's Kings of War, directed by Ivo van Hove, based on Shakespeare's Henry V, Henry VI and Richard III and integrating live music and video feeds;
- Malthouse Theatre's The Shadow King, co-created by Tom E. Lewis and Michael Kantor, reimagining King Lear as a tale of two indigenous families, and fusing music, new text and video;
- Royal Shakespeare Company in association with Tower Theatre Company presenting A Midsummer Night's Dream: A Play for the Nation, combining 18 RSC professional actors, 14 amateur theatre companies from around the U.K., selected to play Bottom and the Mechanicals, and east London schoolchildren playing Titania’s fairy train.
For further information, visit http://www.barbican.org.uk/theatre.