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The Barbican - May 2018 highlights

May preview

THE Barbican highlights for May 2018 include:

Julie Cunningham & Company – Sarah Kane’s Crave – in The Pit from Thursday, May 10 to Sunday, May 13.

Julie Cunningham has established a reputation as an extraordinary contemporary dancer – arresting, poised, sophisticated and precise – during a long career in which she has performed with Merce Cunningham Company and Michael Clark Company. Since making her move into choreography, with the double bill To Be Me seen at the Barbican, she has been developing work that responds directly to poems and text.

Now from Cunningham comes an enigmatic new piece combining dance and spoken word based on Sarah Kane’s powerful play, Crave.

In Crave, the iconic playwright investigates dark and potent themes including rape, incest, addiction and instability. Featuring four actors and four dancers, Cunningham’s version connects meticulous and stark movement to the poetic style of Kane’s writing. With a focus on the inner world of the characters, akin to a stream of consciousness, the harrowing subject matter is given space to speak for itself through physicality.

The Royal Ballet – Elizabeth – in the Barbican Theatre from Wednesday, May 16 to Saturday, May 19.

Former Principal of The Royal Ballet, Zenaida Yanowsky reprises her award-winning role as Queen Elizabeth I in this dynamic exploration of her life and loves, in a unique chamber work which seamlessly blends dance, music, text and song.

A theatrical exploration of the enigmatic Tudor monarch, Elizabeth utilises letters, diary entries, poetry and plays written by Elizabeth I and her contemporaries, including some of her most famed suitors.

Inspired as much by her private passions and hallmark physicality as by her political triumphs, director/choreographer Will Tuckett and playwright Alasdair Middleton explore this seminal figure through innovative and atmospheric storytelling, married with expressive and dynamic movement.

Yanowsky is joined by an ensemble including Yury Yanowsky, Raphael Wallfisch, Julien Van Mellaerts, Sonya Cullingford and Katie Deacon.

Split Britches – Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) – in The Pit from Tuesday, May 15 to Saturday, May 19.

In Unexploded Ordnances (UXO), Split Britches ask the audience to consider whether we are hurtling towards doomsday. Taking inspiration from the 1964 film Dr Strangelove and its iconic War Room, The Pit stage becomes The Situation Room – a daring new forum for public discussion.

Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver take on the roles of the bombastic general and the gentle and ineffectual President, as they invite members of the audience to join them in debating the current global political situation and how to look forward in a rapidly changing world.

As the performers play with the rhythms of urgency and lethargy, whilst investigating current affairs, individual dreams and hidden wishes are re-appropriated as a cumulative solution to what may feel like an uncertain political landscape. Created and developed over two years through a series of residencies with elders and artists that began at the Barbican in 2016 and continued in the US, Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) is a hopeful, whimsical, human exploration of ageing, anxiety and the end of the world.

Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) is part of the Barbican’s 2018 Season, The Art of Change, which explores how artists respond to, reflect and can potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.

Barbican Young Poets – A Change is Gonna Come – in The Pit on Friday, May 25 and Saturday, May 26.

In the spirit of experimentation, past and present Barbican Young Poets join forces with dancers from Boy Blue in the intimate setting of The Pit.

Under the artistic and creative direction of Jacob Sam-La Rose, a poet and performer of international repute, and Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante, co-founder of hip-hop dance company Boy Blue, A Change is Gonna Come tunes into the musicality and rhythm of language.

Poets and dancers interact, fusing the vitality and energy of spoken word with movement, as they share personal experiences of the nation in which they live.

Exploiting a range of genres, styles and themes, Barbican Young Poets have evolved to become drivers for change, their voices helping to define the poetry scene in London and across the UK, whilst Barbican Artistic Associate Boy Blue develop some of the country’s most sought-after hip-hop artists.

A Change is Gonna Come is part of the Barbican’s 2018 Season, The Art of Change.

April highlights.

For more information, visit www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/theatre-dance.