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Barbican Theatre

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The theatre of Europe’s largest multi-arts and conference venue.

The Grade II-listed Barbican Centre is Europe’s largest multi-arts and conference venue and one of London’s best examples of Brutalist architecture. The Centre takes its name from Roman defenses built on the cite c200 AD. It was developed in the 1950s from designs by architects Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, to transform an area left devastated by bombing during World War II. Building began in 1971 and took 11 years to complete, with the final cost totalling £156 million. The Barbican Centre was opened by The Queen on 3 March 1982, who declared it ‘one of the modern wonders of the world’.

The London Symphony Orchestra and the Royal Shakespeare Company were involved in the planning of the Barbican Centre, and the LSO remains resident there. The Barbican Centre also has a close connection with the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. In addition to the Theatre, the Centre houses concert halls, cinemas, galleries, conference rooms, a library and a conservatory, as well as restaurants and bars.

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