Barbican Centre Books Vampires, Peter Brook, van Hove's Avant Garde Roman Shakespeare Trilogy and More

News   Barbican Centre Books Vampires, Peter Brook, van Hove's Avant Garde Roman Shakespeare Trilogy and More
London's Barbican Centre announced a raft of new productions and partnerships, including the return of legendary director Peter Brook, a six-hour trilogy of Shakespeare's Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra presented under the umbrella title Roman Tragedies, a performance installation around the theme of vampires to be presented in the Barbican's car park, and the return of Pied Piper as its Christmas show.

Outside of the theatre program, the Barbican has also announced new partnerships with five of the world's leading musical ensembles, including Jazz at Lincoln Center (which will establish its first residency there in June 2010), the New York Philharmonic (appearing in February 2010) and the Los Angeles Philharmonic (with their first residency due in 2012-13).

Brook returns to the Barbican Theatre with 11 and 12, for a run from Feb. 5-27, 2010. Based on Brook's play Tierno Bokar, which was critically acclaimed during its run in Warwick in 2005 where it was performed in French, 11 and 12 is a co-production between the C.I.C.T/Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord, the Grotowski Institute in Poland and the Barbican. It will be workshopped in Poland, rehearsed and presented in Paris later this year before coming to Barbican next year. Performed by an international cast in English, it is adapted by Brook along with his long-time collaborator Marie-Héléne Estienne from Le Sage de Bandiagra by the African writer Amadou Hampaté Bâ. The story describes the real life and teachings of Hampaté Bâ's master, the Sufi sage Tierno Bokar, a humble and extraordinary man.

The cycle of Roman Tragedies, which comprises Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleopatra performed consecutively across six hours, is directed by Ivo van Hove and performed by Toneelgroep Amsterdam. It will run Nov. 20-22. Described in press materials as a "ground-breaking approach to Shakespeare," the audience is free to move between the auditorium and the stage throughout the performance. This study of power is filmed and relayed live via television screens, which can be viewed by the audience from all angles.

Yorkshire-based theatre company Slung Low, who previously appeared at the Barbican with their show Helium, will return with an installation in Cark Park 2, They Only Come at Night: Visions, running Oct. 30 to Nov. 15. Themed around vampires and the gothic, this promenade piece combines live performance, dance, music and digital projection to create an atmospheric theatrical experience.

Also, Pied Piper — subtitled A Hip-Hop Dance Revolution — and currently running at the Barbican Theatre (from March 5-14), will return as this year's Christmas show, Dec. 10-Jan. 3, 2010. Originally produced by Theatre Royal Stratford East in 200, it closely follows the structure of the original poem by Robert Browning but this version of the morality tale is told from an edgy, modern perspective. In a typical urban setting the rats become ASBO'd hooded youths. The Pied Piper, played by Kenrick "H2O" Sandy, choreographer and co-founder of Boy Blue Entertainment, promises to rid the streets of the so-called vermin of society but when the city Governors renege on their deal the Pied Piper takes his revenge. Original music is by Boy Blue Entertainment co-founder Michael "Mikey J" Asante and the show is directed and designed by ULTZ, an associate artist with Theatre Royal Stratford East.

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