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Barber Shop Chronicles at West Yorkshire Playhouse

The Leeds-inspired co-production is set to open this July.

A dynamic new play inspired by a real Leeds barber opens at West Yorkshire Playhouse on Wednesday 12th July.

Barber Shop Chronicles, by rising literary star, Inua Ellams, centres around the conversations African men have in barber shops, and the role they play in their lives; from newsroom to political platform, local hot-spot to confession box, and preacher-pulpit to football stadium.

Cyril Nri and Kwami Odoom in Barber Shop Chronicles. Photo: Marc Brenner

The play journeys from a barber shop in London, to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling.

James Brining, Artistic Director of West Yorkshire Playhouse, said: “It is significant that the Playhouse is creating work in partnership with the artistic beacon, the outstanding National Theatre, as well as cutting-edge theatre makers like Fuel. The characters in Barber Shop Chronicles are deftly connected across continents and narratives and the play brims with energy, wit and heart. It’s beautifully crafted by its exceptionally talented writer, Inua Ellams, who developed the show in Leeds and drew inspiration by the characters and culture of our city.”

David Webber and Fisayo Akinade. Photo: Marc Brenner.

Barber Shop Chronicles is a co-production between West Yorkshire Playhouse, the National Theatre and Fuel and is directed by Bijan Sheibani.

Barber Shop Chronicles is at West Yorkshire Playhouse from 12th to 29th July. Tickets are on sale now. Book online at or call the box office on 0113 213 77 00.

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