This isn’t a sponsored post.
BrumHour saw the press night of Barber Shop Chronicles at the invite of Birmingham Rep.
For Brum Radio’s Interval Theatre, Dave Massey spoke to Anthony Ofoegbu about Barber Shop Chronicles. Listen back here:
By Dave Massey twitter.com/BrumHour
Please note this play contains some very strong language.
Barber Shop Chronicles at
Written by Inua Ellams, directed by Bijan Sheibani
All over the world men get their haircut every second of every day, Barber Shop Chronicles lets us eavesdrop on several barbershops on one single day.
In Lagos, Tokunbo (Emmanuel Ighodaro) is woken by a young man (Demmy Ladipo) in need of a haircut ahead of his job interview. In London., Emmanuel (Anthony Ofoegbu) is one of the original Three Kings at a barbershop of the same name, whilst Samuel (Mohammed Mansaray) a son of one of the other Three Kings who appears disappeared on him. These are just two of the barbers we drop into.
Arriving into the auditorium, we are greeted by loud music and the group of actors on the stage. They invite members of the audience to sit in a barber’s chair and take some selfies or pose for photos. This puts a really uplifting mood on this show before it has even started. I found myself smiling throughout at both the performances and friendly fun script.
Between scene changes we see the company of actors leap up and dance around as they rearrange the set with a musical interlude. There’s a lot of energy on stage.
The set itself is lined with different chairs and barbershop furniture and the actors sit around the edge on three sides for most of the scenes they are not in. This adds to the community feel of the performances. A huge neon-lit globe lets us know where we are travelling too, from London across Africa and back.
Rather than being a single story told throughout the characters connections’ are interwoven and revealed throughout.
At one hour and forty five minutes without interval, this is an unconventionally told play with bags of character. It is friendly, relaxed and above all, very human.
Barber Shop Chronicles is at Birmingham Rep until 28th September. Book tickets here: birmingham-rep.co.uk/whats-on/barber-shop-chronicles.html
When not writing about theatre for BrumHour, or producing Interval Theatre for Brum Radio (Tuesdays 3pm) brumradio.com/intervaltheatre,
Dave Massey can be found eating crisps and claiming to be at the gym. And tweeting about Birmingham for #BrumHour.