Barbican announces new digital content

Inspired by the Barbican’s international arts programme, a curated mix of podcasts, playlists, films, videos, talks and articles enables audiences to continue to enjoy the Centre’s rich and varied programme.

Highlights of new digital content announced today include: 

  • A new behind the scenes video of The Revenger’s Tragedy, a collaboration between Cheek by Jowl and the Piccolo Teatro di Milano
  • New film releases on the Barbican’s Cinema on Demand
  • Two podcast episodes from the Barbican’s classical music archive featuring interviews with Riccardo ChaillyGeorge Benjamin and Iestyn Davies
  • An online Young Barbican Night special of live streamed performances, workshops and discussions exploring the concept of masculinity
  • A new short film and music score produced by musician and film maker Oliver Cross exploring the experience of a young disabled artist during lockdown
  • Masculinities: Liberation through Photography – Last Chance to See. The exhibition is open until Sunday 23 August. Also, now available is an online walkthrough tour of the exhibition, led by curator Alona Pardo

 All digital content is available for everyone to read, watch and listen to for free at and via the Barbican’s social channels. In addition, podcasts can also be accessed by subscribing to the Nothing Concrete podcast via Acast, Spotify or wherever you get your podcasts. 

New Digital Content – full details below

Theatre and Dance

Cheek by Jowl behind the scenes video of The Revenger’s Tragedy  In early March, Barbican Artistic Associate Cheek by Jowl presented their first Italian-language production, The Revenger’s Tragedy (La tragedia del vendicatore), written by Shakespeare’s contemporary Thomas Middleton – in what was one of the last performances in the Theatre before lockdown. The performance was a collaboration with the Piccolo Teatro di Milano, directed by Declan Donnellan and designed by Nick Ormerod. This brand-new behind the scenes video, filmed by the Piccolo, captures the company’s excitement as they prepare to perform to London audiences.   

Avalanche: A Love Story released as audio recording 

The Barbican’s acclaimed stage adaptation of Julia Leigh’s memoir, Avalanche: A Love Story, starring Maxine Peake, will be released as an Audible Original on Monday 31 August 2020. 

A riveting and honest exploration of who we are and how we love, directed by Anne-Louise SarksAvalanche premiered at the Barbican in April 2019 and subsequently played at the Roslyn Packer Theatre, Sydney in September last year. Produced by Barbican Theatre Productions and Fertility Fest, co-produced by Audible and Sydney Theatre Company. 

Adapted for stage and audio by Julia Leigh, Avalanche is the deeply personal account of Leigh’s own experience of IVF. Navigating the science and coping with the impact of IVF treatment, it is a courageous, compelling and ultimately wise account of a profoundly important and widespread experience.  


Barbican Cinema One reopens on 4 September 

On Friday 4 September, the Barbican’s Cinema 1 is reopening its doors to the public with a 35mm presentation of Christopher Nolan’s widely anticipated Tenet. Audiences will be welcomed back to one of London’s most popular cinemas in the knowledge that safety and enjoyment are at the heart of the experience.  

New Cinema on Demand content available 

The Barbican’s cinema curators also continue to showcase the best in world and international cinema on Barbican Cinema on Demand, a recently launched streaming service, available to view from home or on the move, anywhere in the UK. 

August highlights includes The Proposal (US 2018), and a live online ScreenTalk with the film’s director Jill Magid, hosted by Ines Weizman, Director of the Bauhaus Institute (part of the Architecture on Film series which takes place on Thursday 20 August at 7pm). 

Part thriller, part romance, part artwork itself, this ‘post-mortem love triangle’ takes us on a quest to reanimate the privately-held archives of Luis Barragán, one of the 20th century’s major architects.

Also on offer on Cinema on Demand this August is the moving gay romance José (Guatemala/ USA 2018), and a free ScreenTalk with director Li Cheng and actor Enrique Salanic, interviewed by Barbican Cinema curator Alex Davidson (part of the Forbidden Colours series and is now available to view: 

Portraying a rare representation of LGBTQ+ life in Guatemala, José is one of the most acclaimed gay films of recent years and the deserving winner of the Queer Lion at the Venice Film Festival. New releases this month also include the British film Perfect 10 (UK 2020) with a short intro from the director Eva Riley, and the French/ Algerian Papicha (2019) by Dir Mounia Meddour.

August’s Family Film Club brings together an array of captivating shorts from the London International Animation Festival and a creative workshop led by the artist Ivonne Vargas.

Cinema on Demand is available to audiences across the UK with a rolling four-week programme of titles and events that reflect the Barbican’s bold and international cinema programme. Launched in July 2020, it is the first-ever streaming service to be offered by the Barbican, and builds on the popular digital content programme available through Read, Watch & Listen.

The Proposal 
(83 min) 
is available to stream from 14 Aug, 10.00am to 27 Aug, 9.59am
Pay per view: Full: £6.00 | Young Barbican: £4.00 | Barbican Members: £4.80

José (85 min) is available to stream from 7 Aug, 10.00am to 21 Aug, 9.59am
Pay per view: Full: £6.00 | Young Barbican: £4.00 | Barbican Members: £4.80

Perfect 10+ intro from director Eva Riley (83 min) is available to from 7 Aug, 10.00am – 4 Sep, 9.59am
Pay per view: Full: £10.00 | Young Barbican: £4.00 | Barbican Members £8.00

Papicha  (108 min) is available to stream from 7 Aug, 10.00am – 4 Sep, 9.59am
Pay per view: Full: £10.00 | Young Barbican: £4.00 | Barbican Members £8.00

Shorts from the London International Animation Festival is available to stream from 7 Aug, 10.00am – 6 Sep, 9.59am
Pay per view: £2.50

Cinema on Demand is supported by the Mayor of London’s Culture at Risk business support fund and the National Lottery through BFI Film Audience Network. 


Nothing Concrete Podcast – From the archive: Riccardo Chailly on Beethoven and Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and George Benjamin at the Barbican. Available now on the Barbican’s Nothing Concrete Podcast 

Two podcast episodes from the Barbican’s classical music archive are now available to listen to on Nothing Concrete. The first is an interview with Riccardo Chailly, former principal conductor of Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, from October 2011, discussing his approach to performing his full, and critically-acclaimed, Beethoven symphony cycle at the Barbican. The second is an interview from March 2016 between composer George Benjamin and countertenor Iestyn Davies, speaking with broadcaster Ben Eshmade, ahead of the premiere of Benjamin’s then new work Dream of the Song. Both episodes can be found on the Barbican’s Read, Watch & Listen page or wherever you listen to your podcasts. 

Visual Arts 

The Barbican Art Gallery reopened on Monday 13 July with Masculinities: Liberation through Photography. Following this, the Barbican released its first full-length online walkthrough tour of the exhibition, led by curator Alona Pardo. In this 40-minute tour, we explore masculinity in all its forms, discussing themes of queerness, family and fatherhood, identity, sexuality and race, through the work of photographers including Adi Nes, Collier Schorr, Catherine Opie, Robert Mapplethorpe, Hank Willis Thomas, Sunil Gupta, Peter Hujar, Karen Knorr, Kalen Na’il Roach and Marianne Wex. The film is available to watch here and on the Barbican’s YouTube channel. The exhibition will be open until Sunday 23 August.  

On Tuesday 11 August, Toyin Ojih Odutola: A Countervailing Theory, a site-specific installation and the first-ever UK commission by Nigerian-American artist Toyin Ojih Odutola, opened in The Curve. An epic cycle of new work unfurls across the 90-metre long gallery, exploring an imagined ancient myth conceived by the artist. An immersive soundscape by renowned conceptual sound artist Peter Adjaye fills the space in response to Ojih Odutola’s work. Further information and images are available via the Barbican Press Room. The exhibition runs until Sunday 24 January 2021.  

Creative Learning

Young Barbican Nights: Masculinities  

On Wednesday 19 August at 7pm, the Barbican is hosting this year’s first Young Barbican Night, a special evening of streamed online performances, workshops and discussions exploring masculinity and what it means to be a man today. 

Highlights of the Young Barbican Nights event include a provocative discussion-led workshop, led by VoiceboxTheatre, interrogating how we are taught to perceive masculinity and the implications of such perceptions on society; a step-by-step guide to creating digital illustration led by illustrator and member of the Barbican Young Visual Arts Group, Annabella Lee; a short film, directed by former Barbican Young Programmer, Araba Aduah, featuring drag artist Beau Jangles; a free-writing exercise led by Barbican Young Poet, Annie Hayter; as well as a guided audio tour by Barbican Young Creative, Cosima Cobley Carr, featuring four works from Masculinities, exploring psychological and emotional experience within the context of masculinity. The Nights’ visuals have been designed by Barbican Young Visual Arts Group member, Rebecca Lynes

The event will also feature an exciting panel of pioneering guest speakers, whose work in gender politics is making strides in the movement towards equality. This panel discussion is hosted by presenter and podcaster Ben Hurst with special guests, Char EllesseJamie Windust and Fredi Beard, who will be challenging and digesting views on gender representation in fashion and exploring how the industry is changing.   

The full programme can be viewed here and the stream will be available to watch on YouTube (and Barbican website) from 7pm until Wednesday 26 August.  

Subject to Change: New artistic work being published

National Open Youth Orchestra member, musician and filmmaker Oliver Cross,has released #NotGoingOut, a powerful new short film and musical score showing the experience of a young disabled neurodivergent artist confined to the home due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The short film can be viewed here

Working with footage and photographs taken from the views of his home, Oliver applied technology that placed a grid over the images, mapping out the main lines in the image and the resultant tracing was then converted to notes on a scale. Oliver wrote the composition using the resulting motifs. As lockdown eases for many parts of the UK, Oliver’s hometown, Preston, is currently in a local lockdown.  

This original work forms part of Subject to Change: New Horizons. Each month for a year, Young Creatives will be commissioned to produce new and powerful artistic work responding to the uncertain times in which we are living. Cross’ film and score is the second in the series. New work will be shared every month on the Barbican’s website and social media channels from today until June 2021. As with all Creative Learning programmes, each participant is provided with support throughout the process to help them deal with sensitive issues that may arise. 

Subject to Change: New Horizons is commissioned by Barbican Guildhall Creative Learning, which supports people of all ages and backgrounds to develop creative skills for life. Over the past ten years, they have supported over 100,000 people to find and develop their creative voice. 

Creative Careers Session 2: Being Real Online 

The Barbican Guildhall Creative Careers programme has been brought online to support young people trying to break into the creative industries during these uncertain times. For the second sessionBeing Real Online, Creative Careers has commissioned a week-long multidisciplinary digital art project led by artists Karimah Hassan and James Kite from the Young Barbican network, exploring the core qualities that have been instrumental in their creative and professional development. 

Hassan and Kite have invited other Young Barbican artists, covering everything from dance and music, to poetry and visual art, to collaborate on the programme through a week-long takeover of the Barbican’s Instagram

Each day, the project explores a different core theme in these artists’ practices, represented by an artwork with insight into its creation and helpful advice on the creative process. These core themes are: Intentional, Genuine care, Environment, Pacing, Collaboration and Embodiment.


The Barbican reopened its Art Gallery and Conservatory on Monday 13 July 2020 and is now welcoming back visitors back to The Curve from Tuesday 11 August 2020. In line with government guidelines, new safety measures are in place including operating at reduced capacity, timed entry slots to ensure a safe flow of visitors through the space, with tickets needing to be booked online at in advance of a visit. 

Details of when the Barbican’s other venues and public spaces will reopen will be announced in due course. Everyone who has booked a ticket for a cancelled or postponed Barbican event is eligible for a full refund. Information on how to claim this is published here. Venue hire will also resume in the future, in accordance with government guidance.  

The Barbican is encouraging audiences to make a donation so it can keep investing in the artists and organisations with whom it works. Audiences are also being asked to consider donating to the Centre’s Resident and Associate companies to support them through these difficult times.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Skip to content