Barbican Arts Centre
The Barbican is a really big space, hosting art, plays, music and all things cultural, diverse and artistic. I happened to watch a really terrible play here, which was unfortunate and not reflective of the arts centre itself.
It's a far flung experience from the bright lights of the West End, Opera and Ballet. Although you are likely to catch something contraversial, interesting or plain bemusing. An interesting place to visit if there is something particular on you would like to catch. Generally reminsicent of a great big room with different areas, a few bars and random bits of art. Like I said the play I saw was awful, so I may be sadly biased. Don't expect big shiny stage productions, this is minimal, back to basics and no doubt endowed with lots of cultural importance kind of experience. [more]
Film at the Barbican Centre
Ever since I arrived in London, I’ve seen posters advertising films and plays at the Barbican Centre. There’s a Barbican tube stop, so I knew vaguely where it was. However, our first visit to the Centre, to see the film ‘Hairspray’ exceeded all my expectations.
I did print out a map with directions from the tube stop to the Barbican Centre, but I somehow managed to leave that on my printer. There were street signs pointing the way to the main entrance on Silk Street, but we didn’t spot them immediately. And the Barbican Centre is huge, with exhibition halls, restaurants, stores, shops, and a library… as well as the movie theatres.
There’s more than one movie theatre as well – with Cinema 1 two levels below ground, and Cinemas 2 and 3 on the forth floor – so it pays to check on the website beforehand or on the screens when you arrive to see which theatre you’re film is playing in.
We caught the lift up to the fourth floor, and walked along a corridor with huge glass windows until we reached Cinema 2. There wasn’t the usual cinema food stands there – no pop-corn or chocolate coated ice-creams, but we could buy coffee and diet Coke from the kiosk. On the tables, there were printed sheets which gave more information about the movie and actors – ideal reading material as we waited for our friends to arrive.
And perhaps the best thing was that it wasn’t crowded. 6pm on a Saturday night, and the smallish cinema was only about a quarter full – something we haven’t experienced in the more suburban London cinemas.
Tickets were £8.50 for adults when you bought them at the Centre, £7.00 if you pre-booked them online and £6.00 for Barbican members. Membership’s only £20.00 for the year, so if you live nearby and intend to go to a lot of films (or the other theatre and music shows at the Barbican) then it’d probably be worth it. We live on the other side of the city, but I'd definitely consider travelling to the Barbican to see a film again. [more]
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