The Barbican Theatre is part of the Barbican Centre, an arts complex which was first opened in 1982. The site on which the Barbican is built was an area that was flattened during the Blitz.
The proposition to create an arts centre on the wasteland was not put forward until 1959 and was to be the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company, however, the Company made a somewhat unpopular decision to only stay resident at the Barbican for six months per year.
The auditorium has a complex seating arrangement that means no seat is more than 65 feet away from the stage to give a more personal-feeling performance.
In 1997 the Barbican underwent a huge renovation. In 2002 the Royal Shakespeare Company terminated their affiliation with the Barbican and the venue has now become one of the top locations for international theatre. The Barbican also became a grade II listed building in 2002.
The Barbican Art Gallery has two exhibition spaces, the large open gallery on the first floor and continuous corridor display space above. Admission to the art gallery covers both exhibitions of which there are around seven a year. The Barbican was set up to attract people back into post-war London and now proves one the most popular attractions in the region.
London's best gig venues
It is easy to get to the age where the thought of going to see live music just conjures up memories of aching calf muscles. But it doesn’t have to be that way, not when there is the Barbican waiting for you to plonk yourself into a comfy seat and witness art rock, indie and jazz. You may not be able to dance but in-seat butt wiggling is encouraged by the likes of Devendra Banhart, These New Puritans and Damon Albarn.