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All the Pride and other LGBTQ+ events taking place at the Barbican this summer, from June-September, in one handy little feature.  

CINEMA Queer 90s: Cinema from a Decade of Radical Change.

6 – 29 June 2023.

A season featuring films from around the world that changed forever how LGBTQ+ people were seen on screen.

The 1990s was a history-changing period for queer people; while some countries shook off the queerphobia of past decades to take steps towards greater queer liberation, artists in other countries took great risks to celebrate LGBQT+ lives against repressive legislation. 

Queer 90s explores how filmmakers told new, exciting stories about LGBTQ+ people, casting away clichéd ‘coming out’ stories and tales of queer misery and villainy to create unforgettable tales suggesting a different future may be possible. Through cinema from Austria, China, Cuba, Germany, Guinea, India, Japan and Spain, the films in Queer 90s show flawed, unapologetically queer characters in a decade of great change. Queer cinema would never be the same again.

THEATRE Transpose: BURN Pit Party

15—17 June

An evening of performance and live music from some of the most exciting trans artists.

Acclaimed performer and musician Dani Dingercurates the latest edition of this revelatory evening of performance and live music from some of the most exciting trans artists.

This year’s Pit Party line-up will feature explosive performances from artists, including anarchist poet Kell w Farshéa, DJ Ifeoluwa and subversive drag artist i-Gemini. Plus, Erkan Affan invites Akış Ka, Mustafa Kınalı (aka Mustkika) and Kübra Uzun as part of their MOU7I6 collective.

Transpose has spent over a decade platforming, promoting and celebrating the wide-ranging talents of the UK trans community. This edition is curated and directed by performer, activist and musician Dani Dinger and will explore the building blocks of a shared culture and trans identities and offers a direct challenge to the status quo.

Fluid in its format, the Barbican’s Pit Parties invite a guest artist, producer or organisation to curate a programme of work by multiple artists that interest them and offer time for audiences and artists to socially interact in a relaxed environment. The inaugural Pit Party took place in 2016, curated by nitroBEAT. Since then, the Barbican has presented Pit Parties in collaboration with Touretteshero, Studio 3 Arts, Transform Festival, Inua Ellams, Jamie Hale, Transpose and The PappyShow.

A Strange Loop at the Barbican
A Strange Loop (Image supplied).

THEATRE A Strange Loop.

17 June—9 September 

The Broadway smash-hit, nominated for 11 Tony Awards, Michael R. Jackson’s blisteringly funny, ‘audacious and uproarious’ (The Guardian) show is a heartfelt and thought-provoking masterwork that uses humour and honesty to explore difficult topics around race and sexuality. Plus, post-show talks on intersectionality and the queer experience.

MUSIC Classical Pride

7 July

This is the first ever Classical Pride concert given by a major professional orchestra in Europe with conductor Oliver Zeffman and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. Adding to this celebration of the profound contribution that the LGBTQ+ community makes to classical music, the London Gay Symphony Orchestra will perform in the Barbican foyer ahead of the concert. 


Bernstein Candide – Overture

Poulenc Concerto for Two Pianos (soloists – Pavel Kolesnikov and Samson Tsoy)

Julian Anderson Echoes (soloists – Davóne Tines and choir)

Caroline Shaw Is a Rose (soloists – Davóne Tines, Ella Taylor and Nicky Spence)

Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet

MUSIC Hamed Sinno: Poems of Consumption

8 July

Lebanese-American indie-rock musician and LGBTQ+ advocate Hamed Sinno returns to the Barbican to debut solo material as part of this year’s Shubbak Festival. After performing at the Barbican in 2015 with Mashrou’ Leila, Sinno makes a solo return with a new project, Poems of Consumption. Passionate about LGBTQ+ rights, Sinno, who is gay, is a strong advocate for equality in the Middle East and around the world. 

Poems of Consumption is a literary song cycle exploring the resonances between consumerism in the era of Amazon, mental wellbeing, environmental collapse and unrequited love. In it, we meet “Nero”, a desolate, working-class melancholic, crying in Whole Foods while the world outside comes to a boil. The compositions combine and contrast the soaring romanticism of strings with hyper-industrialist electronica created using hallmarks of consumerism: cellophane, bubble wrap, unboxings and tearing plastic, swinging between the dancefloor and an aural assault.

OUTDOOR CINEMA Paris is Burning

31 August

Screening as part of the Outdoor Cinema programme, Paris is Burning is a chronicle of New York’s drag scene in the 1980s, focusing on dance balls, voguing and the ambitions and dreams of those who gave the era its warmth and vitality. Its importance continues to grow as the years pass; it was a rare film that focused on the lives of queer people of colour, whose charisma shines through in their witty interviews and their fierce routines and performances.

Barbican Artistic Director Will Gompertz told QX“While we programme and promote the creativity of LGBTQ+ artists all year round, I hope that you will join us this summer for a special season of events celebrating Pride. Curated across Barbican’s arts departments, with each bringing its own unique perspective to the programme, we’re proud to be presenting events that provide a platform for conversations about identity, equity, and acceptance across a diversity of voices and experiences within the Queer community. Our goal is to create a space where everyone can feel welcome and celebrated. We believe that art has the power to bring people together and foster understanding, and we hope that this season will be a platform for many conversations.”

Programme of Post-show talks

Thu 6 July: The importance of Pride, community, and allyship

Thu 20 July: The intersectionality of being Black and Queer

Mon 24 July: In Conversation hosted by actor Omari Douglas (It’s a SinA Little Life and Rye Lane). 

To see the full programme of queer events at The Barbican on their website:



What’s on this week