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Barbican - April 2019 highlights include Maxine Peake in Avalanche: A Love Story

April preview

THEATRE and dance highlights at the Barbican in April 2019 include:

Ferran Carvajal/Trevor Carlson – Not a moment too soon – in the Barbican Theatre from April 4 to April 6.

Trevor Carlson, Executive Director to Merce Cunningham, reflects on the 12 years he spent as companion and close friend to the choreographer, offering a rare insight into the final days of a master.

Carlson’s performance is a tapestry of video, text, music and movement layered with previously unseen footage of Cunningham. As Carlson weaves in and around projection panels hung onstage, he presents a visual and oral history of their adventures through recollections of precious moments spent together.

A pilgrimage into memory, the dream-like solo shifts between monologues, readings and intimate clips of the iconic artist at work and at play. Tapping into key periods of Cunningham’s later life this is a touching farewell to a loved one.

Not a moment too soon is part of the official celebration of the Merce Cunningham Centennial.

Galway International Arts Festival – Rooms – in the Barbican Theatre from April 11 to April 19.

Five meticulously detailed rooms house clues to the characters once confined within their walls in this immersive theatre installation. Together, six audience members enter one of the five rooms, exploring the scene for a few moments. Then the recorded audio begins – an absorbing and haunting aural account of solitude, before audiences are ushered into the next room for another story.

Contemplative and atmospheric, this event brings Enda Walsh’s five poetic short narratives together for the first time. In each room the highly intimate lives of an individual are heard, narrated by some of Ireland’s finest actors: Niall Buggy, Charlie Murphy, Donal O’Kelly, Paul Reid and Eileen Walsh.

Lynette Wallworth – Collisions – in The Pit from April 10 to April 20. Part of Life Rewired.

This immersive Emmy Award-winning documentary is a startling collision between cultures, encompassing 360-degree vision, CGI animation and enveloping sound.

Provided with VR headsets, audiences embark on a journey together to the ancient homeland of indigenous elder Nyarri Nyarri Morgan, as he recounts the moment his world was turned upside down. Amid the endless horizon of the remote Western Australian desert, this is a rare insight into the hidden history of Britain’s nuclear testing.

Pioneer of interactive digital technologies, Lynette Wallworth combines masterful storytelling and virtual reality to share the profound truth of one man’s first and fateful encounter with Western science.

Merce Cunningham Trust – Night of 100 Solos: A Centennial Event – in the Barbican Theatre on April 16 at 7.45pm.

As part of the Merce Cunningham Centennial, a global celebration of the vastly influential American choreographer, the Barbican presents Night of 100 Solos on what would have been Cunningham’s 100th birthday.

In Night of 100 Solos, the largest Cunningham Event ever conceived, 75 dancers will be distributed across three venues: the Barbican; BAM in New York City and UCLA’s Center for the Art of Performance in Los Angeles.

On each of these stages, dancers perform a unique collection of 100 solos Cunningham choreographed over the course of his career, with live music and a bespoke set design by Richard Hamilton in London. Nearly half of Cunningham’s former company members participate in the creation of this Event, led at the Barbican by Londoner Daniel Squire.

The Barbican honours Cunningham’s history at the Centre with the performance featuring a solo from every world or European premiere Cunningham presented at the venue.

The 25 dancers at the Barbican are: Luke Ahmet, Harry Alexander, Elly Braund, Siobhan Davies, Inés Depauw, Daphne Fernberger, Jonathan Goddard, Asha Gracia, Thomasin Gülgeç, Francesca Hayward, Hannah Kidd, Catherine LeGrand, Sophie Martin, Estela Merlos, Mbulelo Ndabedi, Michael Nunn, Rowan Parker, Else Raymond, Joseph Sissens, Beatriz Stix-Brunell, Toke Strandby, Asha Thomas, Billy Trevitt, Luc Verbitzky, and Ben Warbis.

Fertility Fest 2019 – from April 23 to May 18 (times and Barbican venues vary). Part of Life Rewired.

Fertility Fest, the only arts festival devoted entirely to the subjects of modern families and the science of making babies, arrives at the Barbican for the first time.

Fertility and infertility take centre stage in this four-week programme of performances and panel discussions that brings together medical experts, artists and audiences. Offering a multitude of views and voices, the festival draws on female and male experiences, looks at new models of family making, and seeks to break taboos around IVF.

Fertility Fest is founded by Jessica Hepburn, influential activist and author of The Pursuit of Motherhood, in partnership with theatre producer Gabby Vautier. A rare, open and collaborative platform, it aims to drive social change.

Avalanche: A Love Story – in the Barbican Theatre from April 27 to May 12. Part of Life Rewired.

Maxine Peake stars in Julia Leigh’s adaptation of her powerful memoir.

When a woman rekindles an early love in her late 30’s her whole life changes. Deeply in love, she and her new husband decide they want to have a child together and, like countless other couples, they make a visit to the IVF clinic, full of optimism. So begins a long and costly journey of medical procedures, nightly injections, rituals and the oscillation between high hope and the depths of despair.

Avalanche lays bare the stark truth of one woman’s experience of the seductive promises made by the multi-billion-dollar IVF industry to those in the grip of a ‘snow blind’ yearning and desire to make a baby. The devastating toll on her body, her relationships and her career as an author/filmmaker, are portrayed with compelling honesty and moments of black humour.

Directed by Anne-Louise Sarks, Avalanche: A Love Story is co-produced by the Barbican, Fertility Fest and Sydney Theatre Company.

See the Barbican’s March Highlights, which includes Grief is the Thing with Feathers starring Cillian Murphy (March 25 to April 13).

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 020 7638 8891 or visit www.barbican.org.uk/.