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Barber Shop Chronicles

  • Venue: Courtyard Theatre
  • Duration: 1 hour and 45 minutes. This performance runs without an interval.
  • Other: Post Show Discussion Fri 14 July
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More Information on Barber Shop Chronicles

Filled with laugh-out-loud humour, exhilarating dynamism and dramatic twists and turns. The banter maybe barbed but the truth is always telling.

★★★★★ “a pleasure to experience” The Stage

★★★★★ “joyous piece of theatre” The Independent

★★★★ “throbs with energy and heat” The Telegraph

Barber shops are communities – offering more than high fade with a slick back.  They are confession boxes, political platforms, preacher-pulpits and football pitches… places to go for unofficial advice, from where to keep in touch with the world.

Inua Ellams’ Barber Shop Chronicles is a generously funny, heart-warming and insightful new play set in five African cities, Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos, Accra, and in London.

Inspired in part by the story of a Leeds barber, the play invites the audience into a unique environment. The barbers of these tales are sages, role models and father figures who keep the men together and the stories alive.


BSL and Captioned Performance Information

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.


Cast & Credits

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

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

  • Anthony Welsh
    as Winston/Shoni
  • Cyril Nri
    as Emmanuel
  • David Webber
    as Abram/Ohene/Sizwe
  • Fisayo Akinade
    as Samuel
  • Hammed Animashaun
    as Wallace/Timothy/ Mohammed/Tinashe
  • Kwami Odoom
    as Ethan
  • Maynard Eziashi
    as Musa/Andile/Mensah
  • Patrice Naiambana
    as Tokunbo/Paul/Simphiwe
  • Peter Bankolé
    as Kwabena/Brian/Fabrice/Olawale
  • Simon Manyonda
    as Tanaka/Fifi
  • Sule Rimi
    as Elnathan/Benjamin/Dwain
  • Abdul Salis
    as Kwami/Simon/Wole


“ Barber Shop Chronicles is a pleasure to experience. The level of joy in the room is high.”

- The Stage

“ This is a joyous piece of theatre.”

- The Independent

“ Filled with laugh-out-loud humour as well as food for thought, this electrifying and magnificent production is theatrical heaven from beginning to end.”

- London Theatre 1

“ invigorating and richly enjoyable drama”

- The Guardian

“ This wonderful new play by Inua Ellams is a revelation”

- The Times

“ This is an absolute cracker.”

- Financial Times

“ (the production) throbs with energy and heat”

- The Telegraph

“ moving”

- What's On Stage

“ Bijan Sheibani’s vivid and energetic production sparkles”

- London Evening Standard

“ (This production) sends pulses of electricity through your veins, and delights you with its joy of life”

- The Arts Desk

“ Entertaining and energetic”

- The Reviews Hub
Set the mood for Barber Shop Chronicles at home or on the road with this unique playlist. Playlist contains strong language.

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 with the addition of a British Sign Language Interpreter who stands on the stage interpreting the show for 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

A relaxed performance with adaptations to technical aspects of the show, flexible seating options and a relaxed attitude to audience responses and movement in the auditorium. In our front of house space we will have a quiet room, clearer visual markers and signage, and additional staff and volunteers trained to sensitively and respectfully welcome people living with dementia and their supporters to this show.

Booking Fees:

*A transaction fee of £1.95 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
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Major funders
Arts Council England Leeds City Council The Liz and Terry Bramall Foundation
Principal Capital Partners
Principal Capital and Access Partner
Irwin Mitchell Solicitors