As previously announced, bite will itself produce a new production of Sheridan's The School for Scandal, directed by Deborah Warner, beginning performances May 11, 2011, prior to an official opening May 20, for a run through June 18. Co-produced with the Holland Festival, it will receive its world premiere in London before traveling to Amsterdam. The production is Warner's first at the Barbican since she was appointed an Artistic Associate there in 2005, after the success of her production of Julius Caesar in bite05.
Peter Brook also returns to the Barbican to offer the U.K. premiere and Barbican co-production of Mozart's A Magic Flute, running March 23-27, which comes to London after premiering at the Bouffes du Nord in Paris in November. According to press materials, the production "continues Bouffes du Nord’s unexpected approach to opera as seen in La Tragédie de Carmen and Impressions de Pelléas.
Robert Lepage will star in the U.K. premiere of his own production of The Blue Dragon, beginning performances Feb. 17 prior to an official opening Feb. 18, for a season through Feb. 26. Produced by Ex Machina, the Québec-based theatre company run by Lepage, it sees the return, 20 years later, of one of the characters featured in his 1985 play The Dragons' Trilogy. Lepage was last represented at bite by Lipsynch, a nine-hour work presented in 2008; he has also previously brought The Far Side of the Moon, The Dragons Trilogy and The Andersen Project to the Barbican as part of bite03, bite05 and bite06, respectively. Prior to The Blue Dragon, his Cirque du Soleil production of Totem will come to the Royal Albert Hall in January.
Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod will bring The Tempest to London, beginning performances April 7, prior to an official opening April 8, for a season through April 16, from Moscow in a production from The Chekhov International Festival, their Russian-based sister company to Cheek by Jowl, who have previously brought Twelfth Night, Three Sisters and Boris Godunov to the Barbican as part of bite06, bite07 and bite08, respectively. The Tempest comes to London as part of a U.K. tour.
Toneelgroep Amsterdam, previously represented at the Barbican by their six-hour Roman Tragedies as part of bite09, return to the venue with the U.K. premiere of Antonioni Project, running Feb. 1-5, a staging of Michelangelo Antonioni's groundbreaking 1960s film trilogy "L’Avventura," "La Notte" and "L'Eclisse." To complement Antonioni Project, all three films will be screened as part of February Directrospective: Michelangelo Antonioni presented by Barbican Film in Cinema 1. Also being produced as part of bite, U.K. performance company Duckie, who previously won an Olivier Award for C'est Barbican! seen there and The Class Club, will return with Lullaby, running June 24-July 24. According to press materials, the evening starts with the audience changing into their pyjamas and getting into bed in the Pit as songs and stories lull them to sleep, before being woken the next day for breakfast.
The biennial SPILL Festival will also take place in 2011, with work in the Barbican Theatre, the Pit, Barbican Hall, Silk Street Theatre and around the public spaces. Amongst the program are six world premieres, five SPILL commissions, large stage works, small interventions, a Thinker in Residence, talks and a backstage feast. The season will include the U.K. premiere of Italian theatre maker Romeo Castellucci with The Minister's Black Veil, running April 21-23. The venue will also host productions being presented as part of the annual London International Mime Festival in January, including France's Mathurin Bolze with Du Goudron et des Plumes running Jan. 26-29, which is inspired by U.S. performer Geoff Sobelle, last seen as part of bite07 in All Wear Bowlers, returns with Charlotte Ford in Flesh and Blood & Fish and Fowl, winner of a Fringe First Award at this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, running Jan. 19-29.
U.K. company Told by an Idiot returns to the Pit with And The Horse You Rode In On: A Sequence of Serious Follies, running April 27-May 14. Co-produced with Drum Theatre Plymouth (where it begins its U.K. tour in February) and co-commissioned by the Barbican and Brighton Festival, it is described in press materials as "a dark comedy of ineptitude," which explores extreme acts of violence and the lengths people will go to for their beliefs. With an inter-connected narrative, it is inspired by sources that include Gunter Grass, Hitchcock, Bugs Bunny and the iconic sitcom "Are You Being Served?"
Another U.K. theatre company, Ridiculusmus, a regular feature of the bite program, returns with the European premiere of Total Football, running May 18-June 18, as part of a U.K. tour, in which David Woods and Jon Haynes try to create a U.K. football team for the 2012 games. The production is commissioned by the Barbican and developed and presented in association with Belfast Festival, National Theatre of Scotland and National Theatre Wales.
BBE: Touch, presented by Barbican artistic associate Boy blue and co-commissioned by the Barbican, in association with Theatre Royal Stratford East, will see the Pit transformed into a cabaret setting with fully licensed bar, giving audiences a rare opportunity to see British performers and Barbican Artistic Associates Michael 'Mikey J' Asante and Kenrick 'H2O' Sandy raw and unplugged. It runs at the Barbican July 28-30, and prior to the Barbican will be seen at Stratford East July 21-23.
Australian contemporary circus Circa return to the Barbican, previously seen at the venue in March, with its newest creation Wunderkammer, running July 19-24, in which burlesque, sideshow and extreme acrobatics meld.
Australia's Belvoir & Black Swan State Theatre Company bring The Sapphires to the Barbican Theatre, running March 2-12, in which four aboriginal sisters who collectively form a Supremes cover band catch the eye of a talent scout, but the realization of a lifelong dream tests sibling love to its limits.
U.K. puppeteer Shona Reppe makes her bite debut with two shows, Cinderella, for children ages five plus, running Feb. 24-28, and Olga Volt The Electric Fairy for children aged seven plus, running March 4-6.
Full listings information and details about performance times can be found at www.barbican.org.uk/bite.