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Barbican's October 2018 highlights include Macbeth with Christopher Eccleston and Niamh Cusack

October preview

HIGHLIGHTS at the Barbican this October include:

Théâtre des Bouffes du Nord – The Malady of Death (La Maladie de la mort) – in the Barbican Theatre from Wednesday, October 3 to Saturday, October 6.

Through an intricate blend of performance and live cinema, The Malady of Death (La Maladie de la mort) explores intimacy, gender, emotional paralysis, and the male and female gaze.

Playwright Alice Birch updates and inverts Marguerite Duras’s novella, turning the female protagonist into a sex worker and investigating the impact of pornography on the psyche.

Katie Mitchell invites audiences to consider the unique way in which men and women scrutinise each other, and the potential for abuse of women within patriarchal structures. Affecting images, sophisticated camera techniques and courageous acting by Laetitia Dosch and Nick Fletcher come together, with the intense action unfolding both onstage and on a large screen.

The Malady of Death (La Maladie de la mort) is performed in French with English surtitles.

On Saturday, October 13 and Sunday, October 14, 2018, Director Katie Mitchell leads an intensive Weekend Lab workshop in response to The Malady of Death.

Dance Umbrella: Colin Dunne – Concert – in The Pit from Wednesday, October 17 to Saturday, October 20.

Two Irish artists united by a deep appreciation of tradition yet compelled by their desire to break it apart: contemporary dancer Colin Dunne takes on the ‘undanceable’ music of the virtuoso fiddle player and composer Tommie Potts (1912-1988), as part of Dance Umbrella 2018.

Armed with a turntable, portable speakers and sheets of flooring, Dunne enters into a creative dialogue with Potts’ The Liffey Banks (1972). This rhythmically deviant, melodically resplendent album presents a singular challenge to Dunne. Responding physically, percussively and conversationally to the irregular, richly textured tunes he draws on his extraordinary technique and deep engagement with the music to illuminate it afresh in a negotiation of old and new.

Royal Shakespeare Company – Macbeth – in the Barbican Theatre from Monday, October 15, 2018 to Friday, January 18, 2019.

Christopher Eccleston makes his RSC debut in the title role of Shakespeare’s psychological thriller, opposite Niamh Cusack as Lady Macbeth and with Edward Bennett as Macduff.

Returning home from battle, the victorious Macbeth meets three witches on the heath. Driven by their disturbing prophecies, he sets out on the path to murder.

Polly Findlay’s contemporary production of this dark tragedy of power and revenge marks her return to the Barbican following her stunning staging of The Alchemist in 2016 as part of the RSC’s 2016 Season.

September 2018 highlights.

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