SeatPlan Logo

Barbican Theatre London

What's on at the Barbican Theatre

About the Barbican Theatre

The Barbican Theatre opened in 1982 as part of the overall Barbican Centre complex, the largest performing arts centre in Europe. The Barbican Theatre carries the same brutalist architectural style of the rest of the Centre, which hosts a huge range of entertainment throughout the year including classical music concerts, live musicians, theatre shows, film screenings and art exhibitions. The Theatre itself has a capacity of 1,156 and was designed by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) to host their own London productions, which are often transfers from The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Shakespeare's own hometown.

Many UK and international productions have been hosted by the theatre, which provides an eclectic mix of shows across each theatrical season. Some recent notable examples include the 2019 production of Jesus Christ Superstar, which transferred from Regents Park Open Air Theatre and Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role, which broke records to become the fastest-selling event in London Theatre history.

In July 2021, after theatres had been closed for over a year due to the COVID pandemic, The Barbican Theatre reopened with a hugely successful revival of Anything Goes featuring Broadway superstar Sutton Foster.

Plan your visit

The Barbican Theatre opens around one hour before the show starts. The Box Office opens 90 minutes before the start of performances. The Barbican Centre complex is open from 9am (Monday to Saturday) and 11am (Sunday).
There is no specific dress code for the theatre. Patrons should wear attire that is comfortable and appropriate for the occasion.
Yes, the Barbican Theatre is fully air-conditioned.
A free cloakroom service is available for ticket-holders, from 90 minutes before the show starts until 30 minutes after the performance has ended. Patrons are encouraged to make a £2 donation in order to support the Barbican Centre's charitable efforts.
Security staff will be completing bag and ticket checks upon entry to the Barbican Centre and to the auditorium, so patrons are encouraged to arrive early to allow plenty of time.
There are several places to eat and drink in the Barbican Centre, from a quick coffee (Barbican Kitchen) and a tasty burger (Bonfire), to martini bars and fine dining establishments (Osteria).
Although the Barbican Centre is a great place to grab a bite to eat before a show, there are also many restaurants in the nearby area. Côte Brasserie, which is just a 5 minute walk from the theatre and specialises in French cuisine, offers an excellent pre-theatre menu.
Citadines, an apart-hotel that is just a 10-minute walk from the theatre is a good choice for those not looking to break the bank. Alternatively, if you're coming to the Barbican for a special occasion, why not stay at the luxury Montcalm at the Brewery London City hotel, which is less than a five-minute walk from the theatre.
The Barbican Centre opened in 1982 and is one of the most well-known examples of Brutalist architecture in London, alongside the National Theatre. The Barbican Theatre was designed exclusively as the London home of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and although it is no longer the sole occupant, the RSC still regularly transfers its productions from Stratford-upon-Avon to the venue.

Help booking tickets

Ticket collection is available at the foyer box office from 90 minutes before the performance starts. We recommend patrons arrive as early as possible to avoid queues and allow enough time to enter the auditorium. Please ensure to bring your confirmation email and your ID.
The Barbican Theatre box office opens 90 minutes before performances. Tickets can be purchased in person from the Barbican Centre Shop between 10am-9pm (Monday-Saturday) and 12pm-8pm (Sunday).
The Barbican Theatre box office can be contacted by emailing tickets@barbican.org.uk.
STAR (Society of Ticket Agents and Retailers) are the industry body that regulates the sale of London theatre tickets. When booking from a company you can check their ticket seller database to see if they are registered and conforming to STAR practices. When buying online, you should also check for the padlock in your browser URL bar to ensure the connection is secure.
The Barbican Theatre, alongside several other spaces within the Barbican Centre complex, are available for private hire. For full details of pricing and what the theatre can offer, please call 020 7382 7043 or email businessevents@barbican.org.uk.
Your basket is empty.