What’s on at the Barbican this August?

Barbican in London

The Barbican is the perfect place to go at any time of year. As one of the largest performing arts centres in Europe, there’s plenty to entertain, distract and excite this summer for anyone who is looking for something a little different to help while away the summer days.

The Barbican Centre is just a nine minute walk from the Montcalm Royal London House and there’s so much to do that anyone searching for hotels near old street station in August will find themselves spoilt for choice.

For the makers

If you’re a crafty sort of person looking to learn a new skill or adapt an old one, the Barbican has a couple of classes you’ll really fancy. The Barbican is conducting a series called ‘Make! Summer Workshops’, the first of which will be a Jesmonite Casting Workshop with Phil Cuttance. The talented London-based designer will share his skill for fashioning small vessels, and offers a ‘cool, contemporary take on an age-old craft’ throughout August.

If you’re keen to expand your artistic skills into home-dying, the Barbican is also offering a “Floral Dyeing Workshop with Botanical Inks” as part of the ‘Make!’ series. During this lesson, visitors will learn how to create vibrant and colourful dyes from plants.

For the music lovers

For punk fans looking to learn more about the 1980’s scene, the Barbican has “The Music That Saved a Decade Divining the Eighties Underground”. A trip back in time to London of the 1980s - long before the Montcalm Royal House London Hotel was established in Finsbury Square.

Fans of an entirely different genre will be keen to see Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Samuel Barber’s “Vanessa (#)”. This opera, which dates back to the mid-20th century, takes inspiration from the Film Noir genre and mystery movies of Hollywood from the time ‘with an atmospheric score and tense, psychological twists.’

For the activists

For appreciators of the arts, the Barbican is always a hive of must-see exhibitions, and this August the Barbican is showcasing a double bill of exhibitions from visionary photographer Dorothea Lange and the award-winning Vanessa Winship.

For the bibulous

For anyone staying in hotels near old street station, you’re fortunate enough to be within walking distance of some exquisite alcohol tasting classes at the Barbican. This August members have a choice between gin or tequila - but it’s so hard to choose, so why not head to both? Sipsmith Distillery is bringing its uniquely old fashioned way of producing gin; they’re the first copper distillery in London for nearly 200 years, and as such are looking to enlighten members on the history of gin and the story behind the brand. Cocktails will be served to perfection and paired with delectable bar snacks.

If tequila is more your tipple, try the members-only “Tequila & Mezcal Tasting” with the founder of London’s only Tequila festival, Eduardo Gomez. A selection of Mexican bar bites will accompany cocktails and a range of six different drinks.


1. What's on in the barbican?

The Barbican Centre is a performing arts centre in the Barbican Estate of the London City and the largest in Europe. The Centre hosts classical and contemporary music concerts, theatre performances, film screenings and more. It also has a library, three restaurants, and a conservatory.

2. Is the Barbican free?

Yes, the Barbican Centre is free to visit.

3. How do I get to the Barbican Centre?

The Barbican tube station is a brief stroll from the theater, and is served by the Metropolitan, Hammersmith and City and Circle lines.