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Barbican announces major new collaboration with the Wellcome Trust

Ruby Wax

Theatre news

THE BARBICAN has announced a new collaboration with the Wellcome Trust for Wonder: Art & Science on the Brain, a season bringing together the arts and neuroscience for events ranging from a performance lecture by Marcus du Sautoy to personal insights on fame and depression from Ruby Wax.

Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director, Barbican said:

“The two cultures of art and science are so often perceived as remote from each other – in fact they interact on many levels, and this path-breaking collaboration with the Wellcome Trust will enable us to explore the riches of creativity and perception in a new way.

“Alongside a major conference on neuroscience, this season presents events, discussions, and interactions celebrating the achievements of the human brain which are a source of wonder for all.”

And Clare Matterson, Director of Medical Humanities and Engagement, Wellcome Trust said:

“Scientists and artists have been examining the brain for centuries from different but often complementary viewpoints. Our exciting new venture with the Barbican will bring these two approaches together, delving into a fascinating, but potentially challenging, area of science and opening it up to the public.

“It will bring some of the world’s leading experts on the brain and mental health into one of the UK’s foremost cultural venues and allow the public to engage with the latest thinking on how the brain works, directly and through some very innovative creative partnerships.”

Highlights of the Wonder: Art & Science on the Brain season include an audio-visual performance lecture from Marcus du Sautoy featuring music from electronic music artist James Holden; Ruby Wax giving a personal insight into her journey from the heights of fame to depression; a film season exploring neuroscience and mental health on the big screen; a theatrical 19th century Parisian Salon debating the big topics of 21st century thought – and a feast of other events that invite audiences to think, to explore and to wonder.

The Centre also launches its full January to April Theatre and Dance season along with some exciting new additions to its Contemporary Music programme.

Highlights in Theatre and Dance include Cheek by Jowl’s new French production of Alfred Jarry’s anarchic fantasy, Ubu Roi, Barry McGovern’s adaptation of Beckett’s novella Watt, a co-commission with ENO presenting the world premiere of Michel van der Aa’s Sunken Garden, and the SPILL Festival of Performance, which in 2013 takes place across several London venues.

New Contemporary Music events include two performances from Sinéad O’Connor; a live cinematic performance project SuperEverything by leading audio-visual artists The Light Surgeons; and A Scream and an Outrage – a marathon weekend curated by Nico Muhly featuring premieres and specially commissioned work from Philip Glass, Bryce Dessner, Paola Prestini, Julia Wolfe, David Lang and more.

At the heart of the Barbican Theatre and Dance spring programme are three productions which form part of Dancing around Duchamp, a major cross-arts season centred on the figure of Marcel Duchamp.

For more information visit www.barbican.org.uk/.