Barber Shop Chronicles

  • Project: Barber Shop Chronicles
  • Artist/Company: Inua Ellams

“ "Such an ambitious piece and so life-affirmingly realised. Go." ★★★★★” The Independent

A National Theatre, Fuel and West Yorkshire Playhouse co-production

Barber Shop Chronicles 

Written by Inua Ellams

Directed by Bijan Sheibani

Designed by Rae Smith

For generations, African men have gathered in barber shops. Sometimes they have haircuts, sometimes they listen, more often than not they talk. Barber shops are confession boxes, political platforms, preacher-pulpits and football pitches... places to go for unofficial advice, and to keep in touch with the world.

Fuel has produced Inua Ellams’ work for theatre since his debut play nine years ago. Barber Shop Chronicles is a heart-warming, hilarious and insightful new play, set in Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos, Accra and London. The play invites the audience into a uniquely masculine environment where the banter may be barbed, but the truth always telling.

The barbers of these tales are sages, role models and father figures, they are the glue that keeps men together.

Co-commissioned by Fuel and the National Theatre. Development funded by Arts Council England with the support of Fuel, National Theatre Studio, West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Binks Trust,  British Council ZA, Oran Mor and A Play, a Pie and a Pint. 

To read about the first iteration of this project, see Inua Ellams' Fast Cuts and Snapshots

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