Sarish Younis

THE BARBICAN PLAYHOUSE | London, England | Unit 21 | 2015

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Theatrical performances to an extent have became the ideal means to capture and convey the diverse interest of time and place. The Barbican Underground Train Station history has evolved from being a tavern where Shakespeare had once resided and was neighbouring of known Golden Lane Fortune Theatre, to ruins of Aldersgate Street Station where a monody was written about the loss of history and joyous atmosphere that had once lived within the station which was destructed by the times through the world war. Presently, the station meets commuting purposes and remains oblivious to its historical connections, however the Barbican Playhouse proposition not only brings back the loss of time but also gives new meaning to the place which is conveyed through the moments.

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The moments in the barbican state are too ambiguously embedded within the Barbican Underground Train Station, and the proposal of the playhouse therefore brings out these moments into their physical form by using them as a platform to formulate the architecture and how it corresponds to the existing infrastructure of the station. The Playhouse holds these moments which are illusion, movement and order as main concept to all propositional elements.

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Illusion is a moment that will be conveyed through perceiving the performance from illusionary spatial depth of the backdrop. Movement is a moment that will be articulated through the linearity of the roofscape and viewing platforms, where a sense of motion is given in something that is a static building element. Order is a moment where spaces are formed in a rhythmical system, and through this moment of order the other moments are captured and as a result curates the architecture of the Barbican Playhouse.

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The programme of the playhouse is an expression of these moments; illusion, movement and order.  It therefore holds performances which capture the essence of these moments in both performance and programmatic format. Puppetry in particular is a performance type that gives an illusion of life in something that is far from it, such illusion is only achieved through how the objects like the puppets are orderly crafted and mechanized in order to convey movement which in the end becomes this sensory performance piece that captures the imagination of the viewer.

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The Playhouse is a platform which stages theatrical performances at different scales, yet it is also a platform that reveals the making process of performance garments and puppetry, which overall gives deeper understanding and richer experiential experience to the public of what really holds behind the doors of the Barbican Playhouse.

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