The Barbican launches At the Barbs podcast by The Elephant Room


The Barbican has launched At the Barbs, a new weekly podcast delving into the world of art and creativity – through the lens of culture and its influences on a younger generation.

At the Barbs is hosted by Capital XTRA broadcaster Robert Bruce, and will feature a new guest each week for six weeks to discuss performances and shows at the Barbican and beyond, with the first episode going live today (9 Nov 2022).

At the Barbs

The new podcast, developed with creative agency The Elephant Room, will provide a space to discuss theatre, film, music and art from the point-of-view of communities, rather than the traditional and established perspectives. 

“It’s a meeting point for where art and culture blurs lines, borders and boundaries, and shifts locations – whether they are physical or digital.” says host Robert Bruce. 

Alongside the podcast sits a suite of new creative assets, marketing materials and social content developed with The Elephant Room.

The podcast encourages listeners to develop their own point of view, safe in the knowledge that there’s no right or wrong answer, and invites them to experience and review art and performances from the Barbican programme.

At The Barbs has been created for everyone who sees culture as unbounded, finding it anywhere, anytime and in any form.

The first season will feature Robert Bruce in conversation with a different guest each week. 

Guests include radio host and presenter Swarzy Macaly reflecting on current Barbican Art Gallery exhibition Carolee Schneemann: Body Politics (Thu 8 Sep 2022—Sun 8 Jan 2023); writer and film director Koby Adom on To What End, a recent evening of short dance and live music performances developed by William Kentridge’s The Centre for the Less Good Idea in the Barbican The Pit Theatre; and musician Jelani Blackman discussing The UK Drill Project by HighRise Entertainment (Thu 3—Sat 12 Nov 2022). 

Other guests include Youtuber and football vlogger David Vujanic talking about Black Arsenal, an exploration of Arsenal’s historic contribution to Black sporting iconography; singer and songwriter Miraa May reflecting on internationally-renowned pianist Isata Kanneh-Mason’s recent Barbican Hall performance; and A&R Manager Komali Scott–Jones discussing ‘writer of the decade’ Rupi Kaur and her recent spoken word poetry experience. 

Each guest will reflect on what they’ve seen and unpack its themes whilst discussing their own creative journeys and views on culture.

Ben Jefferies, Head of Marketing at the Barbican, said: “At the Barbs was created to provide a fresh take on culture. 

“We wanted to offer something that clearly says that culture is for everyone, and to make something that breaks through the boundaries that sometimes exist when talking about art. 

“Opening up the way we talk about art – how it can influence lives and where there’s no right or wrong answer – is really exciting, and we’ve loved working with The Elephant Room to create At The Barbs and the exciting campaign that sits around it.”

Dan Saxby, The Elephant Room Founder and Managing Director, said: “At the Barbs is an exploration and celebration of where art and culture meet. 

“By respecting and representing new art forms in an authentic and honest way, we hope to create a dialogue and a conversation about the arts that anyone can participate in. 

“The supporting campaign reflects our approach to creative inclusivity and the Barbican have been brilliant partners in embracing that”

At the Barbs launches can be found on the Barbican website, Apple Podcasts, Acast and Spotify.