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Blanchett & Binoche Lead Barbican 2012 Season

The Barbican Centre have today (24 May 2011) announced their headline projects for the 2012 Olympic year with Cate Blanchett and Juliette Binoche starring in co-commissioned productions.

As part of the newly announced season the Barbican will also present a major new work by Complicite, directed by Simon McBurney, and You Me Bum Bum Train, co-commissioned by the Theatre Royal Stratford East, will make a return to a found space in East London.

Oscar-winning actresses Cate Blanchett will lead a co-commission with Sydney Theatre Company - Botho Strauss' 1978 play Gross und Klein adapted into by Martin Crimp. Directed by Luc Bondy, the production takes audiences down rabbit hole following Blanchett on an Alice in Wonderland-like adventure through a sequence of scenes, searching for human connection. The surrealist piece will open at the venue on 14 April 2012 (previews from 13 April) and run to 29 April as part of the London 2012 Festival.

The production will mark Blanchett's first London stage outing in 13 years, having last performed in the Almedia's 1996 production of David Hare's Plenty directed by Jonathan Kent. Blanchett, a five-time Academy Award nominee came to prominance in Elizabeth: The Golden Age and has been seen in films such as Notes On A Scandal and Babel, won the 2005 Best Supporting Actress Oscar for her role in The Aviator.

Juliette Binoche stars in a new Barbican co-commission of August Strindberg’s Mademoiselle Julie, directed by Frédéric Fisbach. A French language, modern-day take on the themes of desire, love and the constraints of social convention, Fisbach re-imagines the classic drama with a chorus of local community actors watching the three main protagonists. The production will run from 20 to 29 September 2012.

Binoche is best known for her screen roles, appearing in films such as The English Patient, Chocolat and Breaking And Entering. Her stage credits include the 1998 West End production of Luigi Pirandello’s Naked and in a 2000 Tony-nominated performance in Harold Pinter's Betrayal on Broadway.

The Barbican's award-winning 2010 production You Me Bum Bum Train, which sees a single audience member become the centre of the show, returns with a new work in 2012. The production, co-commissioned by the Barbican with the Create Festival and Theatre Royal Stratford East, will take place in a found-building in an East London opening in July 2012.

The first ever UK performances of Robert Wilson and Philip Glass’ 1976 production Einstein on the Beach, will be staged at the Barbican from 4 to 13 May 2012. A rarely performed opera in four acts, it has not received a major production in 20 years, and will now embark on an international tour which begins in early next year. Einstein on the Beach features choreography by Lucinda Childs, a long-term collaborator of Glass and Wilson, who choreographed the opera in 1984 and 1992 and was principal performer in the original and both subsequent productions of the work.

In addition, the Barbican embarks on its previously announced celebration of Pina Bausch with an "unprecedented" 10-work season presented in collaboration with Sadler’s Wells. Also presented as part of the London 2012 Festival, the works will be performed from 6 June to 9 July 2012.

The Barbican's major new co-commission with Complicite, directed by Simon McBurney, will open in the Barbican Theatre in March 2012. Full details have still to be announced.


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