Following two sell-out runs at the National Theatre and a world tour, Inua Ellams’ acclaimed Barber Shop Chronicles returns for a 2019 UK tour including a strictly limited summer season at the Roundhouse, London’s most iconic in-the-round performance space.
Newsroom, political platform, local hotspot, confession box, preacher-pulpit and football stadium. For generations, African men have gathered in barber shops to discuss the world. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling.
Directed by Olivier award-winner Bijan Sheibani (The Brothers Size) and designed by Olivier, Tony and OBIE award-winner Rae Smith (War Horse), Barber Shop Chronicles is a heart-warming, hilarious and insightful new play that leaps from a barber shop in Peckham to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra over the course of a single day.
Inua Ellams’ hit play Barber Shop Chronicles recently marked its 250th performance by announcing new autumn dates and a special programme of work Fades, Braids & Identity which will run alongside the season at the Roundhouse in London, opening in nine weeks. The overwhelmingly successful Barber Shop Chronicles returns to London for the first time since its premiere in 2017, playing two sold out runs at the National Theatre and acclaimed performances at Leeds Playhouse. It has subsequently toured across Australia, New Zealand, the United States of America and Canada.
Featuring work from the creators of Hot Brown Honey, Selina Thompson, Ruth Sutoyé, and Julian Knox as well as a resident barber from Hackney’s renowned SliderCuts, Fades, Braids & Identity champions the stories of Black and Brown artists, exploring and expanding on the themes of the play, from race, gender and identity to the importance and politics of Black hair culture.
This season of events will present acclaimed artists alongside emerging talent to engage with new audiences and to open new conversations reflecting the themes Inua Ellams explores in Barber Shop Chronicles.
Much of the work focuses on the voices of femmes of colour; Hive City Legacy is an unapologetic satire bringing together redefined narratives and social activism to confront Femme experiences across race, sexuality and mental health, Bald Black Girl(s) looks at the experiences of bald black women and their own relationship with barbers and Selina Thompson presents Race Cards, inviting audiences to ask her questions about race. Inua will also present his well-established spoken word and hip-hop night R.A.P. Party on 11th August. Throughout Fades, Braids & Identity, the Roundhouse will also welcome a collection of African Fusion Food pop-ups blending Nigerian, Ghanaian and South African cuisines.
The current national tour of Inua Ellams’ play Barber Shop Chronicles will reach further regional audiences across the UK with new Autumn dates now added. Working closely with a national partnership of venues, Barber Shop Chronicles will visit Birmingham and Leeds as well as the first Scottish dates for the production in Edinburgh and Inverness, supported by the National Lottery through Creative Scotland. Funding from both Creative Scotland and Arts Council England is helping the production to attract new, young and diverse audiences with 10% of all available tickets across the entire tour made available for free via local engagement initiatives aimed at young people, refugees and people with experiences of the criminal justice system and others who traditionally wouldn’t attend theatre performances.
The cast for both the Roundhouse and autumn tour has also been announced, featuring existing cast members Maynard Eziashi, Adé Dee Haastrup, Emmanuel Ighodaro, Demmy Ladipo, Mohammed Mansaray, Anthony Ofoegbu, David Webber, and incoming cast members Micah Balfour, Okorie Chukwu, Tom Moutchi, Elmi Rashid Elmi, and Eric Shango. Both Maynard and David have been with the show since the world premiere at the National Theatre in 2017.
Barber Shop Chronicles is directed by Bijan Sheibani, designed by Rae Smith, with lighting design by Jack Knowles, movement direction by Aline David and sound design by Gareth Fry.
Barber Shop Chronicles is a Fuel, National Theatre and Leeds Playhouse co-production in association with the Roundhouse, co-commissioned by Fuel and the National Theatre.
Roundhouse, London, 18th July – 24th – BUY TICKETS
Birmingham Repertory Theatre, 26th – 28th September – BUY TICKETS
Oxford Playhouse, 9th – 12th October – BUY TICKETS
Eden Court, Inverness, 16th – 19th October – BUY TICKETS
Edinburgh Lyceum, 23rd October – 9th November – BUY TICKETS
Nuffield Southampton Theatres, 13th – 16th November – BUY TICKETS
Leeds Playhouse, 20th – 23rd November – BUY TICKETS