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"Today, the Barbican must rank as the world's top arts centre"
Richard Morrison, The Times, 26 Sep 2006
The acclaimed bite programme, presented in the Barbican Theatre and The Pit theatre, features the most exciting new theatre, dance and music from around the world. Artists and Directors whose work has been presented as part of bite include Robert Lepage, Deborah Warner, Peter Brook, Michael Clark, Duckie and Merce Cunningham.
Open 363 days a year, the Barbican presents a uniquely diverse programme of world-class performing and visual arts, encompassing all forms of classical and contemporary music, international theatre and dance, visual arts and design, and a cinema programme which blends first-run films with special themed seasons.
Since the Barbican opened, almost 27 million patrons have visited the centre, attending over 52,000 events.
Designed in the 1960s and constructed in the 1970s the Barbican Centre was opened on 3 March 1982 by HM The Queen who described it as 'one of the wonders of the modern world'. Owned, funded and managed by the City of London, the third largest sponsor of the arts in the UK, it was built as 'the City's gift to the nation' at an historical capital cost of £161million, equivalent to almost £400 million today.
The Barbican is owned, funded and managed by the City of London, The third largest funder of the arts in the UK.
The Barbican Site
Occupying seven acres, the Barbican site comprises:
- a 1949 seat hall for concerts and conferences
- two theatres; the 1,166-seat Barbican Theatre and the flexible 200-seat Pit
- three cinemas, seating respectively 280, 255 and 153 people
- two art galleries; the 1,393 m2 Barbican Art Gallery and the smaller horseshoe shaped Curve
- 4,645 m2 of foyers and public spaces
- a lakeside terrace and a roof-top tropical conservatory
- seven conference suites
- two trade exhibition halls
- three restaurants the informal Waterside Cafe, the Balcony Bistro and the more formal Searcy's restaurant.
- private function rooms