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Taylor Mac and Coraline opera in new Barbican season

Taylor Mac will bring his Pulitzer Prize-nominated performance to London for the first time

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Taylor Mac in A 24-Decade History of Popular Music
© Sarah Walker

The Barbican has announced its 2018 programme with highlights including a Pulitzer Prize-nominated piece from Taylor Mac and an operatic adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coraline.

As part of LIFT 2018, American performance artist Taylor Mac presents A 24-Decade History of Popular Music: The First Act (28 to 30 June). The Pulitzer Prize-nominated performance – which in its entirety is 24 hours long – will see Mac, accompanied by a 24-piece orchestra and local performers, charting America's social history from 1776 to 1806 through three decades of song.

The Royal Opera presents its operatic adaptation of Neil Gaiman's Coraline from 29 March to 7 April. The world premiere is composed by Mark-Anthony Turnage, directed by Aletta Collins and with Sian Edwards conducting the Britten Sinfonia. Best known for the 2009 film adaptation, Coraline is about a girl who discovers a door in her parent's home, leading to an entirely different place and family.

A retelling of Joan Lindsay's cult 1967 novel, Picnic at Hanging Rock, from Malthouse Theatre and Black Swan State Theatre Company will run from 21 to 24 February. The piece sees a cast of female narrators retell the story of three schoolgirls who vanish with their teacher, never to be seen again.

Barry Humpries – best known for creating the legendary Dame Edna Everage – reunites with cabaret star Meow Meow to present his Weimar Cabaret (11 to 29 July). A tribute to the jazz-infused music of the Weimar Republic, the show unites the two Australian artists with London's Aurora Orchestra and is performed in German and English.

Cheek by Jowl's Pericles (Périclès, Prince de Tyr) runs from 6 to 21 April. Declan Donnellan's production, featuring the company's French ensemble, is his first French Shakespeare collaboration with Nick Ormerod. Performed in French with English surtitles.

Donnacha Dennehy and Enda Walsh's modern opera The Second Violinist receives its UK premiere from 6 to 8 September. From Landmark Productions and Wide Open Opera, the production is about an orchestral violinist who is consumed by social media platforms and violent video games.

In June, iconic New York theatre company The Wooster Group bring The Town Hall Affair to the Barbican Theatre (21 to 24 June). Based on the film Town Bloody Hall by Chris Hegedus and DA Pennebaker, it is a mixed-media piece channelling a 1971 debate on women's liberation.

As previously announced Complicité's Olivier and Tony Award-winning The Encounter, directed and performed by Simon McBurney, returns from 14 April to 5 May. The London International Mime Festival opens in January with work from Belgian and French companies, including the Olivier Award-winning Peeping Tom.

Other highlights of the 2018 programme include another chance to see The Royal Ballet's Elizabeth (16 to 19 May), choreographed by Will Tuckett and starring former Principal of The Royal Ballet Zenaida Yanowsky in the title role. Cassa Pancho's Ballet Black appears twice in this season, with Double Bill, featuring The Suit and A Dream Within a Midsummer Night's Dream. Pioneering choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui directs a genre-defying show honouring the Japanese art form of manga (8 to 11 February), and Split Britches present Unexploded Ordnances (UXO) (15 to 19 May), in which they ask the audience to consider whether we are hurtling towards doomsday.

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