BARBER SHOP CHRONICLES

Directed by Olivier award-winning director Bijan Sheibani and designed by Rae Smith (War Horse).

This play span for a time frame of one day whereby we saw six barber shops each in a different city.

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. With the main plot set in a barber shop, Peckham London.

It makes the case for the barber shop as a liminal space that unites the diaspora, as people breeze in to share stories, share a joke, share their love of Chelsea FC, and sometimes bear their souls.

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.

The play influenced my research by allowing room to hold a political platform for African men. It saw for each shop to become a newsroom, political platform, local hotspot, confession box, preacher-pulpit and football stadium.

The play worked well along side the work currently showcased at the Round House and is the centrepiece of ‘Fades, Braids & Identity’, a season ‘championing the work of black and brown artists’.

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