Theatre News

Evita and Ivo van Hove to feature in the Barbican 2020 spring season

The venue has announced its programming from January to July

Ivo van Hove, Alice Birch and Jamie Lloyd featuring in The Barbican 2020 season
Ivo van Hove, Alice Birch and Jamie Lloyd featuring in The Barbican 2020 season
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The Barbican has announced its January to August 2020 Theatre and Dance programme in the Barbican Theatre and The Pit. Highlights include the return of director Ivo van Hove, the transfer of Regent's Park Open Air Theatre's Evita and the UK premiere of Katie Mitchell and Alice Birch's Orlando.

Director Ivo van Hove returns to the venue with two UK premieres. First is a co-production with Odéon-Théâtre de l'Europe of The Glass Menagerie, which will star Isabelle Huppert in Tennessee Williams' story of loneliness, lost dreams and illusions and will play from 5 to 11 June.

van Hove will also bring Internationaal Theater Amsterdam back to The Barbican from 16 to 19 April with Death in Venice, based on Thomas Mann's novella and the author's own life experiences. This theatrical adaptation by former Dutch poet laureate Ramsey Nasr will include new music by Nico Muhly, played live by the Britten Sinfonia.

The Barbican will continue its relationship with Regent's Park Open Air Theatre and bring the transfer of Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical Evita to the Barbican Theatre from 27 June to 22 August. Directed by Jamie Lloyd, the show enjoyed a sell-out season at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre earlier in 2019.

Regular collaborators Katie Mitchell and Alice Birch will return to the Barbican Theatre with the UK premiere of Orlando, performed by long-standing collaborators Schaubühne Berlin. The production moves through 400 years of history based on Virginia Woolf's 1928 novel on gender fluidity and will play from 2 to 5 April.

Continuing their relationship with the London International Mime Festival, Child (Kind) and Cold Blood will play in the Barbican Theatre, and Chimpanzee and ROOMAN in The Pit. Child (Kind) is a UK premiere from Belgian company Peeping Tom, the final instalment of their
family trilogy and developed from impressions of childhood shared by the whole company including co-directors Gabriela Carrizo and Franck
Chartier. It plays from 22 to 25 January. Chimpanzee is a UK premiere from American puppeteer Nick Lehane playing from 21 to 25 January, while ROOMAN features Australian performer Fleur Elise Noble and plays from 14 to 18 January.

Barbican artistic associates Cheek by Jowl and Piccolo Teatro di Milano will bring the UK premiere of The Revenger's Tragedy (La tragedia del vendicatore) – directed by Declan Donnellan and designed by Nick Ormerod – to the Barbican Theatre from 4 to 7 March. Written by Shakespeare's contemporary Thomas Middleton at a time of growing social unease, the play reveals a government embroiled in shady affairs and a society obsessed with money, social status and fame.

Coinciding with Artemesia – a major exhibition at the National Gallery – Breach Theatre make their Barbican debut in The Pit with their acclaimed production of It's True, It's True, It's True as part of a national tour from 31 March to 9 April. The shows tells of the 1612 trial brought by the painter Artemisia Gentileschi and includes court transcripts to ask how much has really changed.

As the co-founders of Belarus Free Theatre, Nicolai Khalezin and Natalia Kaliada were exiled from their native country and now make theatre with their Minsk-based ensemble over Skype. The company present their Barbican debut with a UK premiere of Dogs of Europe, a political thriller based on the novel by Belarusian author Alhierd Bacharevic and playing from 13 to 16 May.

Sardegna Teatro and Compagnia Teatropersona will also make their Barbican debut in the Theatre with a UK premiere of an all-male Macbeth (Macbettu), directed by Alessandro Serra and using rituals, rites and rhythms rooted in Sardinian culture in the production. It plays from 20 to 23 May.

Other shows in The Pit include a Barbican debut by Diverse City with Mid Life – created by co-artistic director Claire Hodgson and playing from 19 to 22 February – a UK premiere of The Bees' Road by director Ofira Henig and actor Khalifa Natour from 30 April to 2 May.

Toni Racklin, Head of Theatre and Dance, said: "Our new January to August 2020 season in the Theatre and The Pit sees a range of boundary-breaking artists engaged with today's fast-changing world. Whether by looking afresh at classic texts or giving a voice to those whose stories are seldom heard, these thought-provoking performances take us in new and unexpected directions."