Skip to main content

Barbican Centre Main Theatre


Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS 020 7638 8891

  • Where to buy tickets
  • Best seat advice
  • Seating plan/s
  • Getting to the theatre

Buying tickets online

www.barbican.org.uk, run by the venue itself, provide the service for this theatre.  A brilliant box office system lets you select the actual seat you require from those available.

 

Booking fees per ticket:
Online is cheaper than booking by phone. A mere £3 per transaction, not per ticket, fee applies.

 

 

Other Online Choices (with genuine S.T.A.R ticket agencies): 
For some productions, some STAR members may offer seats.

Ticket agencies offer an alternative way to buy tickets, with booking fees differing from those charged by the theatre box office itself. They may have seats available or special offers when theatres do not.

Ticket agency prices vary in response to theatres implementing “dynamic pricing”  - which alters prices according to demand for a particular performance. Current prices are advised at time of enquiry.

ALSO SEE Tickettree.com for great value "hotel and theatre ticket" packages.

 

 

Box office information

Telephone: 020 7638 8891. Operated by the venue's own phone room.

Booking fees per ticket for telephone bookings:
Online is cheaper than booking by phone. By telephone, a £4 administration fee is added to the total TRANSACTION cost for telephone bookings. 

For personal callers or by post: 
Box Office, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, London. EC2Y 8DS
No booking fee for personal callers.
PLEASE NOTE THAT THIS BOX OFFICE NO LONGER ACCEPTS CASH PAYMENTS.
Postal applicants pay a per transaction fee for use of a Barbican envelope, or can include their own, with stamp and pay nothing. 

Special Access Needs Customers: 
Wheelchair users and other registered disabled theatregoers can book their seats and enquire about concessionary prices that may be available to them on 0207 638 8891.

www.barbican.org.uk is the official venue website.

Please remember that cheaper seats often do not offer the same view / location quality as top price ones, and that ticket prices are designed to reflect this difference.

 

  • Stalls
  • Dress Circle
  • Upper Circle
  • Balcony

Stalls

Layout

A single block of seats, the ends of which are slightly angled towards the stage.
The circles in this theatre are at the back of the stalls, so they do not noticeably overhang the seats except at the edges of the auditorium.

 

Legroom

Good in all seats up to 5ft 10 or so, even better in the front row if a row is removed for any staging reason.

B 5 and 33 and D 1 and 37 have nothing in front; B 6 and 32 and D 2 and 36 have nothing in front for 10% of the seat width.

Choosing seats in general

For some reason, no matter which seat he chooses in this modern theatre, this monkey feels he cannot get a good view of the stage. The shape of the theatre and stage (no aisles, almost every row has a separate door leading into it) conspire to eliminate intimacy between actor and audience.

All seats officially have a clear view of the stage. Rows A to P seats 1 to 9 and 31 to 44 are at an angle to the stage. This is especially annoying in rows A to G, as the actors seem to be standing side on to the audience when viewed from these seats.

Frankly, avoiding the first and last 4 seats (6 in B to F, 5 in A) in all rows is worthwhile (unless heavily discounted, when they may well be worthwhile), and further back then row P is getting remote from the stage - poor value for money when you can usually sit near the front for the same price.

The good news is that sometimes the whole of row A is sold VERY cheaply - when it is, this can be a bargain for those happy with the angled view.

Otherwise, Theatremonkey's pick of the bad bunch are first, Rows E to G 11 to 27, then A to C 15 to 24, Row D 12 to 26, then Row H to P 11 to 30. 

Wheelchair spaces are at the rear of the stalls. The view here is on par with the rest of the seats, but users should take the Upper Circle first if possible as the view is better.

General hazard notes

Claustrophobics: There are no aisles, entry is direct into long rows from each end, except rows A to C, which share an entrance.

Staging of all productions often restricts views for those at the ends of rows.

Changes for the current production

None reported.

Readers comments

"A 18: "Les Misérables" (September 2010). Fantastic seat for seeing the show, really close, however you do miss some of the footwork because the stage height and also the conductor was slightly in view. The seat was uncomfortable though and I just couldn't get comfortable."

"A19: "Jesus Christ Superstar" (July 2019). On the front row with good leg room between the seat and the stage, and very central. The stage is about at eye level which means you may get a slight crick in your neck looking up. But for me, that was more than compensated for by being so close to the action for this high-energy performance."

B10 and 11: Big and Small – April 2012 (Chris B). This is the front row for this show so these seats have all the legroom you could wish for. They do feel very close to the stage but as it is a large stage that goes back a fair way you don't feel too close. They are, however, quite far the right as you look at the stage but if you are prepared to look slightly side on, it makes little difference to the viewing experience. It does feel very intimate and personal to be so close to the actors and especially for plays with only a handful of actors, I would recommend them.

"D 12 and 13: "Antony and Cleopatra" (December 2017). Brilliant seats, great legroom and perfect sightline."

P44: "Hamlet" (August 2015).  There's a balcony on stage (is it a balcony? - stage far left) where a little action happens - which I couldn't see from my seat. I may write."

T25: "Hamlet" (August 2015). even though it was back row I got a good full view of the stage and the "balcony" where some action takes place. Didn't feel too far away from the stage (though it's always nicer to sit closer!). Only downside was I was sat right next to the sound desk so it was a little distracting. 

Dress Circle

Layout

Called the Circle in this theatre.

This circle is overhung by the two circles above it, but the view is not affected.

Most seats are in a balcony overhanging the back of the stalls in two long rows without aisles.

The only seats closer to the stage are in two projecting side balconies, designated rows AA to HH.

Every row has a separate door leading into it, except AA to CC, which share an entrance.

Legroom

Good for those up to around 5ft 9 in rows A and B.

In the slip seats, row AA has no legroom whatsoever. Row BB seats 2 and 14 have nothing in front. The rest of BB are suitable for those up to around 5ft 6 at most. Rows CC to HH are suitable for those up to around 5ft 7 at most.

Choosing seats in general

The majority of seats are at the back of the theatre, behind the stalls. Anyone sitting here gets a distant view of the stage. 

The only seats to consider are row B 9 to 51, followed at a pinch by row A 9 to 51. It is no surprise that circle prices are generally lower than the stalls.

General hazard notes

A bar runs across the front of the circle's main block. This affects the view in all seats, and is only just tolerable in row B.

Theatre architecture ensures that the edges of the stage cannot be seen in side block rows AA to HH. The bar across the circle front further intrudes on the view here too.

Claustrophobics: There are no aisles, entry into rows A and B is direct into long rows from each end.

Changes for the current production

None reported.

Readers comments

"Side Circle: "Hamlet" (August 2015). Tucked in at the side of the circle - view not perfect but still pretty darn good.

Upper Circle

Layout

This circle is overhung by the balcony above it, but the view is not affected.

Most seats are in two long rows overhanging the back of the stalls. Quirky design makes this circle closer to the stage than the Dress Circle below it.

Row BB has two plinths raised for wheelchair users.

The only seats closer to the stage are in two projecting side balconies, designated rows AA to EE.

Every row has a separate door leading into it from the outer ends, except AA to CC, which share an entrance.

Legroom

Adequate for those up to around 5ft 8 at most, in rows A and B.

When wheelchairs are not used, B 7, 8, 13, 14, 15, 53, 54 and 55 may be replaced with up to 2 movable chairs, offering maximum legroom.

Of the slip seats, row AA has no legroom whatsoever. Row BB 1 and 12 are "double width" but only half the seat has legroom - by using the gap between the seat in front and the wall of the circle, a small triangle. Those up to around 5ft 8 and slim can do this.

Row CC 3 and 11 can pull the same trick with a slightly smaller gap. CC 1 and 13 allow the narrow-hipped to squeeze legs into the aisle beside BB in front - unlimited legroom across 15% or so of the seat for the small. Otherwise, like CC 2 and 12, legroom is nil for those over 4ft tall.

Rows DD and EE are suitable for those up to around 5ft 5 at most, though 3 and 11 in both rows can again take advantage of a tiny gap in front, between circle wall and seat in front - not nearly as wide as the gaps further forward, though.

Choosing seats in general

Lower prices and a closer view than the dress circle below make row A seats 8 to 14 and 51 to 57 quite good value, followed in order of merit by row B seats 16 to 52, then row A seats 15 to 50.

The pricing policy often sees row A seats 1 to 6 and 59 to 64 cheap but good value, even if the view is a little "sideways on" to the stage.

Wheelchair spaces are available in row B. These offer a fair view of the stage. Users may prefer these to the stalls as they seem closer to the action.

The only redeeming feature of AA and BB is the extra width of the seat and being in a row on your own. Shame about the legroom and view though. The extra wide seat was originally for two people, but the one and a half person width indicates why that idea was revised soon after opening - though it may make a comeback on singles night! At £10 or so each they are fair value, any more is way too expensive.

General hazard notes

A bar runs across the front of the circle. This affects the view in all seats, and for the short is only tolerable in row B.

Claustrophobics: There are no aisles, entry into rows A and B is direct into long rows from each end.

Poor legroom in many slip seats.

Rows A and B end 4 seats appear lower than seats further along, and look over rows in front.

Changes for the current production

None reported.

Readers comments

"A11 and A12: "The Master and Margarita." Visibility very good from here. A clear view of the entire stage and the backdrop. This particular production involved clever interaction between stage and screen projections - I felt that we had the best of both worlds on this, had you been sitting in the stalls for example you wouldn't have been able to see the actors from an aerial position as we could. (sorry very complicated - you had to be there really!). There is a bar running along the circle but it's not obtrusive and I didn't find it restrictive. The seats are small and by that I mean not very wide and very poor on legroom. If you are over 5'6' you will struggle to stretch or get comfortable. Definitely not recommended for 6 footers. Wear something cool, it gets hot up here. Given the choice, at a push I would sit here again because the visibility was good and I am quite small in stature!

"A49 and 50: Carousel – August 2012 (Chris B). This circle does feel very high up but allows for a good overview of the entire stage, useful as there are plenty of people on stage at any one time. These seats are slightly left of centre but allow viewing of the whole stage. As this is the front row, there is a safety rail that is about 12 inches above the circle wall in front but as long as you sit back or lean forward slightly, it doesn't hinder the view at all. The legroom is sufficient if not ample, with plenty of space for your knees but I found my feet a little constricted, especially if you like to stretch out. An added bonus for musicals is you get a bird’s eye view into the orchestra pit which is always a treat."

Balcony

Layout

Most seats are in two long rows overhanging the back of the stalls. Quirky design again makes this circle closer to the stage than the Upper Circle below it - though high above the stalls...

The only seats closer to the stage are in two projecting side balconies, designated rows AA and BB.

Every row has a separate door leading into it from the outer ends.

Legroom

Good in all seats for those up to around 5ft 8 or so, except row AA and BB, which have none. Row BB has a bit of toe-space on a black rubber strip behind row AA. Using it may annoy the occupants of that row, though...

Choosing seats in general

The pricing policy often sees row A seats 1 to 8 and 55 to 62 and row B 1 to 8 and 56 to 63 cheap but good value, even if the view is a little "sideways on" to the stage.

Rows AA and BB project forward from the circle. The view is poor since they are at the very edges of the stage.

General hazard notes

A bar runs across the front of the circle. This affects the view in all seats, and is only tolerable in row B.

The height may bother vertigo sufferers.

Claustrophobics: There are no aisles, entry into rows A and B is direct into long rows from each end.

Rows A and B end few seats are lower than the rest and look through more bars.

Views can be through a lot of lighting, which is often hung on bars below the level of the front of this circle.

Zero legroom in slip seats.

Changes for the current production

None reported.

Readers comments

"Balcony": "Gross und Klein." Sat in the Upper balcony (almost on the roof - it was all I could get!!) - dreadful seats - shame on the Barbican for even selling them."

Notes best seat advice

Total 1162 seats.

Air-conditioned.

Sennheiser radio network. Guide dog sitter available. Wheelchair access is good but manoeuvring is tight in the Upper Circle. Adapted toilets available. Wheelchair users get free parking in the centre car parks.

Wheelchair users and other registered disabled theatregoers can book their seats on 020 7638 8891 and enquire about concessionary prices that may be available to them. The wheelchair users line connects directly to the venue box office in London. Wheelchair hire bookings on 020 7382 7021.

Three bars shared with the rest of the theatre complex in the common foyers.

A range of cafes and restaurants in other parts of the centre. Ice cream and confectionery in the auditorium.

Toilets on all levels of the common foyer outside the auditorium. Note that a comedian designed the basin taps. It looks like they are "break beam for water" types. HOWEVER: a sign on the water spout indicates you should tread on something nasty. It actually means you need to tread on the black rubber pads on the floor below the basin to get water out of the spout. The monkey felt like it had "won a crystal in the Crystal Maze" for figuring that one out...

General price band information

Theatres use "dynamic pricing." Seat prices change according to demand for a particular performance. Prices below were compiled as booking originally opened. Current prices are advised at time of enquiry.

Based on paying FULL PRICE (no discount!) for tickets, site writers and contributing guests have ALSO created the colour-coded plans for "value for money," considering factors like views, comfort and value-for-money compared with other same-priced seats available.

For a full discussion, opinions, reviews, notes, tips, hints and advice on all the seats in this theatre, click on "BEST SEAT ADVICE" (on the left of your screen).

On the plans below:
Seats in GREEN many feel may offer either noticeable value, or something to compensate for a problem; for example, being a well-priced restricted view ticket. Any seats coloured LIGHT GREEN are sold at "premium" prices because the show producer thinks they are the best. The monkey says "you are only getting what you pay for" but uses this colour to highlight the ones it feels best at the price, and help everybody else find equally good seats nearby at lower prices.

Seats in WHITE, many feel, provided about what they pay for. Generally unremarkable.

Seats in RED are coloured to draw attention. Not necessarily to be avoided - maybe nothing specific is wrong with them, other than opinions that there are better seats at the same price. Other times there may be something to consider before buying – perhaps overpricing, obstructed views, less comfort etc.

Please remember that cheaper seats often do not offer the same view / location quality as top price ones, and that ticket prices are designed to reflect this difference.

CLICK SEATING PLAN TO ENLARGE IF REQUIRED. USE "BACK" BUTTON TO RETURN.

By value for money:

zbarbicantheatremar15.gif
Notes

The Dress Circle is called the "CIRCLE" in this theatre. 

The Balcony is called the "GALLERY" in this theatre.

Note: When outermost stalls row A is sold at a low price, many will find them "white" or fair value.

 

Please note: The seating plans are not accurate representations of the auditorium. While we try to ensure they are as close to the actual theatre plan as possible we cannot guarantee they are a true representation. Customers with specific requirements are advised to discuss these with the theatre prior to booking to avoid any confusion.

-0.1277398, 51.511498

Nearest underground station

Two choices; Barbican - Circle Line (yellow), Hammersmith and City (light purple), Metropolitan (dark purple). Theatremonkey prefers Moorgate - Circle Line (yellow), Hammersmith and City (light purple), Metropolitan (dark purple) and Northern (black).

Buses

8, 11, 22B, 25, 26, 56, 133, 141, 214, to Barbican / Moorgate. Follow yellow lines from Barbican, or directions above from Moorgate. Be aware that no buses stop outside the centre or close to it.

Taxi

Book in advance, chances are low of hailing one on Moorgate.

Car park

Within the centre. Make careful note of the car park number and bay numbers before leaving or you will probably still be searching for your car until next year. Also note the public foot exits from the car park to the centre are hard to find and narrow. This feature amuses theatremonkey as it seems the builders were embarrassed about having a car park linked to their nice arts centre. Strange.

Back To Top