Bite09 at the Barbican

The new season at the Barbican looks very, very exciting indeed. Quite serious. And certainly not for the faint hearted. Probably best to avoid for first dates.

Roman Tragedies
Most exciting for my money is Roman Tragedies, a six hour canter through Coriolanus, Julius Caesar and Antony and Cleoptra back to back. Utilising film and live television, the audience is invited to view the action close up, moving between the auditorium and the stage. In Dutch with English surtitles. £27.50 and unreserved seating.

by The TEAM and National Theatre of Scotland promises a requiem for modern America. Developed at BAC, this looks well worth a look, despite a slightly cringe-worth YouTube clip. £15.

The Farenheit Twins is a stage adaptation of a beautiful short story by Michel Faber. Two twins living in an Arctic science station have their lives turned upside down by their mother’s illness. £15.

Also worth a look, if only to see if it can match its terribly serious PR write up, is Gospels of Childhood by Polish outfit Teatr ZAR: a three-part ritualistic lamentation on birth, death, pleasure and pain told through song, chanting and movement drawing on sources as diverse as little known apocryphal gospels, the polyphonic singing tradition of Georgia, Bulgaria and Greece, the music of Corsica, Icelandic and Chechen songs, the Polish romantic poet Juliusz Slowacki and Byzantine and Sardinian Paschal hymns. Performed in three parts at two different venues, Teatr ZAR (who take their name from two thousand year old funeral songs performed by inhabitants of remote mountain villages of Caucasus) will create theatre out of the spirit of music and show audiences that theatre does not only pertain to the Greek ‘thea’ (seeing, in case you wondered) but that it’s something that above all should be heard. By the way, in case it didn’t sound intellectual enough for you, much of this work is informed by extensive research into ancient religious music during annual investigative expeditions to Georgia in the years 1999-2003.