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 invited 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, Leeds 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
|Inua Ellams – Writer
Bijan Sheibani – Director
Rae Smith – Designer
Jack Knowles – Lighting Designer
Aline David – Movement Director
Gareth Fry – Sound Designer
Michael Henry – Musical Director
Lekan Lawal/Stella Odunlami – Associate Directors
Kwami Odoom – Assistant Choreographer
Louis Hammond CDG – Casting Director
Catherine Morgan – Associate Designer
Lydia Crimp – Costume Supervisor
Andrew Whiteoak – WHAM Supervisor
Kev McCurdy – Fight Director
Peter Atakpo – Barber Consultant
Charmian Hoare – Company Voice Work
Hazel Holder – Dialect Coach
Micah Balfour – Winston/Shoni
Okorie Chukwu – Elnathan/Benjamin/Dwain
Maynard Eziashi – Musa/Andile/Mensah
Adé Dee Haastrup – Wole/Kwabena/Simon
Emmanuel Ighodaro – Tokunbo/Paul/Simphiwe
Demmy Ladipo – Wallace/Timothy/Mohammed/Tinashe
Mohammed Mansaray – Samuel
Tom Moutchi – Kwame/Fabrice/Brian/Olawale
Anthony Ofoegbu – Emmanuel
Elmi Rashid Elmi – Ethan
Eric Shango – Tanaka/Fiifi
David Webber – Abram/Ohene/Sizwe
"★★★★★ - Such an ambitious piece and so life-affirmingly realised. "
"Exuberant, Invigorating... and richly enjoyable drama."
"Rich and exhilarating... The tone of the play shifts fluidly from comedy to poignancy to rage."