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Barber Shop Chronicles (BAM)

From 9 member  reviews
Members say: Clever, Funny, Delightful, Riveting, Resonant

About the show

Part of BAM Next Wave, this piece from Nigerian-British playwright Inua Ellams weaves a tapestry of unfiltered stories about father-son relationships and black masculinity to an Afrobeat score. More…

From the show:

Lagos. Johannesburg. Accra. Kampala. Harare. London.

Six radically different cities, all united by a familiar place where you can get more than just a good trim. Barber Shop Chronicles conjures the sacred space where discussion ranges from politics to family to soccer to Tupac.

Nigerian-British playwright Inua Ellams weaves a rich tapestry of unfiltered stories about father-son relationships and black masculinity, set to an Afrobeat score. This runaway international sensation is “a joyous piece of theatre” (The Independent).

Member Reviews (9)


Clever, Funny, Delightful, Riveting, Resonant
Avg Score

Lively, Touching, Cultural, Rhythmic, Masculine

See it if Conversations in African barber shops mixed w/lively “afro-beat” music & dancing. Stories of fatherhood, politics, women, work & loss.

Don't see it if You prefer a single narrative rather than a collection of slice-of-life fragments. Heavy accents are sometimes difficult to understand.

Also Get there a little early to enjoy the music, sit in the barber shop ch... Read more Read less

Confusing, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great acting, Funny

See it if you like the idea of multiple, unrelated stories taking place in a common environment.

Don't see it if you have a lot of trouble with thick accents. I had a hard time understanding some of what was being said.

Funny and touching, Delightful, Riveting, Clever, Entertaining

See it if high energy performances, diff. vignettes that take place in 5 diff. barber shops (London & 4 African countries); Afrobeat music & movement

Don't see it if accents may take some time to get used to; story lines alternate so not straight forward; if you hate missing anything; can be confusing

Also Interesting discussions of African politics, issues involving black ma... Read more Read less

A lively, fun, and insightful look at barber shop culture in africa and london

See it if A slice-of-life look at father/son relationships, politics, and sorrow grabs you. And why the heck not?

Don't see it if You are not interested in human nature and how we get by, around the world.

Also A friend saw this in London and raved about it. I thoroughly enjoyed t... Read more Read less

Clever, Refreshing, Resonant, Great staging, Exuberant

See it if Wonderful intermix of stories told by men in multiple cities in Africa (and London)--with great choreography and verve-- very resonant.

Don't see it if Hard to hear in the balcony as well as the complexity of many​ accents--wish I got a hearing device.

Insightful, Fun, Riveting, Delightful, Clever

See it if you want a fun look into the overlapping cultures of black men all over Africa and London.

Don't see it if You need a realistic set and straight-forward story. Or have a difficult time with accents.

Conscious expanding, Engaging, Funny, Explodes with energy

See it if Wonderful collage of striving humanity dealing with life told thru conversations in six barbershops in Africa and London.

Don't see it if Sometimes the accents may be hard to understand (but it shouldn't deter you). All- male, constantly changing scenes, vignettes.

Also Loved this show. Wonderfully staged and enthusiastically acted it is l... Read more Read less

Overrated, Indulgent, Cliched, Banal

See it if Enthusiastically acted but not much of a play, more of a feel good exercise

Don't see it if Too long for it has to offer

Intelligent, Hilarious, Funny, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if you love comedy interspersed with though-provoking dialogue

Don't see it if have a hard time with accents

December 4th, 2019
CRITIC’S PICK "‘Barber Shop Chronicles’ Offers an Exhilarating Sanctuary: Inua Ellams’s energizing, globe-traveling play considers the barber’s chair as the black man’s confessional."
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December 9th, 2019
"'BARBER SHOP CHRONICLES' Showcases Salons as a Beacon of Hope for Contemporary Black Men"
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Cast & Creatives (3)