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Barber Shop Chronicles

  • Venue: Courtyard Theatre
  • Duration: 1 hour and 45 minutes (no interval)
  • Age Guidance: 12+
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More Information on Barber Shop Chronicles

One day. Six cities. A thousand stories.

Following two sell-out runs at the National Theatre and a world tour, Inua Ellams’ acclaimed Barber Shop Chronicles returns to Leeds Playhouse this November.

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.

Don’t miss this ‘joyous and life-affirming’ (The Independent) smash-hit.

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.

‘Funny, fast, thoughtful, moving. An absolute cracker’

★★★★ Financial Times

‘Remarkable. A cut above the rest’

★★★★ Observer


Cast & Credits

Writer Inua Ellams / Director Bijan Sheibani / Designer Rae Smith / Lighting Designer Jack Knowles / Movement Director Aline David / Sound Designer Gareth Fry / Musical Director Michael Henry / Associate Director Lekan Lawal / Assistant Choreographer Kwami Odoom / Casting Director Louis Hammond CDG / Associate Designer Catherine Morgan / Costume Supervisor Lydia Crimp / Production Photography Mark Brenner /

A Fuel, National Theatre and Leeds Playhouse co-production


“ Funny, fast, thoughtful, moving. An absolute cracker”

- Financial Times

“ Remarkable. A cut above the rest”

- Observer

“ Throbs with energy and heat”

- Daily Telegraph

“ Exuberant. A debating chamber where you shed your locks but regain your identity”

- Guardian

“ Vivid and energetic. Take a seat at a revolutionary barber’s shop”

- Evening Standard

“ Warmth, wisdom and global reach”

- Daily Telegraph

“ Hugely fun”

- Time Out

Book Tickets

Captioned Performance

Open captioning allows theatre goers with varying degrees of hearing to view the full text as it is spoken or sung, including sound effects and off stage noises. These appear on a scrolling screen, positioned on or at the side of the stage.

British Sign Language Interpreted

A signed performance is the usual full production using either the creative use of sign integrated into the performance or a British Sign Language Interpreter on stage interpreting the show for D/deaf attendees.

Audio Described

Audio Described performances are designed to improve the experience of visually impaired and blind attendees. As well as listening to the dialogue on stage the customer can wear a headset and listen to a live description of the action on stage.

Relaxed Performance

A relaxed performance is a specially selected show from our programme, with slight adaptations to make it suitable for an audience of young people or adults with learning disabilities. This may include extra lighting, additional wheelchair spaces and the freedom to move to alternative seating if required.

Dementia-Friendly Performance

Dementia friendly performances are for all audiences. The theatre experience is enhanced for people living with dementia and their supporters, with adaptations to front of house service, the show and pre-show information packs. Additional dementia-aware staff, quiet spaces, clear signage and visual markers, sound and lighting adjustments and flexible seating options all help to create a supportive, shared experience.

Sing Along

Singalong with the cast in this exclusive performance. Join in as loud as you like, fancy dress is optional but highly recommended.

Post Show Discussion

Parent & Baby Performance

A Parent and Baby performance enables parents to attend the theatre with their baby (under 12 months). We make small adaptations to the lighting and sound effects, including keeping the auditorium lights slightly raised. The seating is unallocated and there is a relaxed attitude to noise.

Booking Fees:

*A transaction fee of £2.50 will be applied to all phone and internet bookings.


  • Captioned - Captioned
  • Signed - Signed
  • Audio Description - Audio Description
  • Relaxed Performance - Relaxed Performance
  • Dementia Friendly Performance - Dementia Friendly Performance
  • Post Show Discussion - Post Show Discussion
  • Sing Along - Sing Along
  • Parent & Baby Performance - Parent & Baby Performance
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Major funders
Arts Council England Leeds City Council The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation
Principal Capital and Families Partner
Caddick Developments
Principal Capital and Access Partner
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors