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What we do
What we do
Inspire & develop the next generation of artists and entrepreneurs

The Barbican Theatre is a dynamic charity started in 1980 with young people and the development of creative skills at the heart of all that we do

Our ambition has been to raise the standard of dance and theatre performance being produced by, with and for young people. We seek to challenge what traditional notions of theatre and dance are and liberate the imagination of young people to create fresh and exciting work that comes from new and unusual voices – voices that are often unheard.

We challenge our young people to work hard at their craft and develop creative and social skills which enhance their learning, resilience and determination to succeed in whatever career path they choose.

Why? ...Our mission statement

To offer as many people as possible, but especially the young, access to, participation in, and enjoyment of high quality artistic activity, without prejudice.

This is practiced in the belief that such involvement cultivates, inspires and enthuses individuals and communities to explore and express needs, voice opinions, celebrate together and agitate to provoke social and cultural change.

We are more than just a venue

We have over 30 years experience of creating and producing theatre and dance of the highest quality across Plymouth and the wider South West region about relevant and sensitive contemporary issues.

We specialise in working in non-arts environments. We take our work out, delivering it to people within their own communities in unusual spaces as well as within more traditional arts spaces, including our own building.

In particular we are well recognised for our work with black and minority ethnic groups and individuals, bringing forward new art works that reflect important issues around identity, race and cultural integration.

What makes us unique?

We asked our audiences what makes us unique.

Here’s some of the most frequent answers they gave us.


  • Diversity and originality
  • Position as an alternative theatre offering variety and choice
  • Support to artists and willingness to take risks and challenge conventional theatre models
  • Accessibility and affordability
  • Accent on community, participation and inclusion
  • Accent on issues relevant to 21st century life
  • Focus on young people
  • B-bar food & performance space

The Barbican Theatre Company was set up in September 1980 as a professional outreach Theatre-in-Education organisation (called Rent-a-Role Drama Service) touring new work to schools in Plymouth, Cornwall and Devon.

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