Follow Us on Twitter

Barbican - February 2019 highlights

February preview

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

Moscow Pushkin Drama Theatre – The Cherry Orchard – in the Barbican Theatre on Tuesday, February 5 and Wednesday, February 6.

Russian screen and stage star, Victoria Isakova, plays Lyubov Ranevskaya in Vladimir Mirzoev’s enigmatic, soulful production of Chekhov’s prophetic masterpiece.

The epitome of measured elegance, Ranevskaya returns to her estate when she learns her beloved orchard is to be sold off to repay debts. Beautiful, romantic, sensual and irresponsible, Ranevskaya is haunted by the ghost of her drowned son, Misha, who is given a physical presence on stage. He haunts the drama as the impending sale and destruction of the cherry orchard become inevitable.

The Cherry Orchard embodies the spirit of Russia at the turn of the 20th century and Vladimir Mirzoev’s ghostly, contemporary version conveys societal collapse recognisable in more recent events.

The Cherry Orchard is performed in Russian with English surtitles.

Moscow Pushkin Drama Theatre – The Good Person of Szechwan – in the Barbican Theatre on Friday, February 8 and Saturday, February 9.

Yury Butusov directs a bold, vigorous production of Brecht’s parable in which the gods come to Earth in search of a good person and find Shen Te, a sex worker, who puts them up for the night. The gods reward her good deed, enabling her to buy a tobacco shop and try to turn her life around.

But being good and poor is not easy and soon various freeloaders take advantage of her generosity leading Shen Te to invent a non-existent cousin, Shui Ta, who is ruthless and pragmatic enough to thwart everyone’s exploitative schemes.

Alexandra Ursulyak gives a bold, compelling performance of the opposing cousins.

The Good Person of Szechwan is performed in Russian and German, with English surtitles.

Moscow Pushkin Drama Theatre – Mother’s Field – in The Pit on Saturday, February 9 at 2.30pm and 7.45pm.

Mother’s Field is based on an enduring story by Soviet-Kyrgyz writer, Chinghiz Aitmatov. Revered as a giant of 20th century Russian literature, Aitmatov published his story eighteen years after the Second World War, ushering in mythical folklorish elements to his realistic fiction.

Tolgani, a strong Kyrgyz woman, has a special connection with Mother Earth, a companion in whom she confides and seeks commiseration. Granted a healthy family, her bounty is lost to misfortune when war intervenes. Back in her beloved fields, her heart is torn apart by grief.

Mother’s Field explores timeless themes of family relationships, nationhood, war and survival.

Striking physicality and gesture convey the narrative in this potent performance without words – a brave plea for peace and humanity directed and choreographed by Sergei Zemlyansky.

Charles Atlas/Rashaun Mitchell/Silas Riener – Tesseract – in the Barbican Theatre from Thursday, February 28 to Saturday, March 2. (Part of Life Rewired).

Tesseract is an ambitious work by choreographic duo Rashaun Mitchell and Silas Riener together with pioneering video artist Charles Atlas. Inspired by science fiction and time travel, and experimental in form and technique, it is rich in psychedelic, potent, disorientating and hypnotic images.

Opening the show is an astonishing 3D film with vividly contrasting chapters in which movement and setting fuse seamlessly. Space is transformed in imagined and hybrid worlds through manipulating the size and shape of the dancers’ bodies and the audience’s proximity to them.

For the second part, a live performance is captured by multiple cameras onstage; the footage mixed and projected onto a translucent screen, offering various perspectives of the crisp, intricate and innovative choreography.

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 020 7638 8891 or visit