Barber Shop Chronicles at the Royal Exchange

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Barber Shop Chronicles at the Royal Exchange (Contact in the City Part 3)
Dean Chalkley

Barber Shop Chronicles at Royal Exchange Theatre, City Centre, 7–23 March 2019, from £18.50 - Book now

For generations, African men have gathered in barber shops to put the world to rights. They have hair cuts, sometimes they listen and usually they talk. Newsroom, political platform, confessional booth, preacher pulpit and local meeting point – barber shops provide a place for barbed banter and telling truths. A place to visit for unofficial advice, and to keep in touch with the world.

Charting global dialogues and dynamic goings-on, Inua Ellams’ Barber Shop Chronicles travels from a barber shop in South London to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra.

Presented as part of Contact In The City Part Three and performed at Manchester’s iconic Royal Exchange, Barber Shop Chronicles takes audiences into a male world of politics and ritual, putting lives on stage which have not been seen there before.

Set in the round and directed by Bijan Sheibani, Barber Shop Chronicles centres around the troubled relationship between Emmanuel, the owner of Three Kings barbershop and Samuel, who is also a barber and the son of Emmanuel’s oldest friend. There’s plenty simmering under the surface with Sam believing that his dad was wrongfully driven out of the business. Sam’s resentment builds against the compassionate Emmanuel revealing climactic revelations for the audience.

Soulful and life-affirming; hilarious and heart-warming, Barber Shop Chronicles tackles black masculinity and men’s mental health and hints at the rich and nuanced canvas of black male experience. Through Barber Shop Chronicles Inua Ellam depicts real African men, and men he has actually met and in doing so shines a light on the plethora of voices and different types of men who are not visible or heard in theatres, television and radio.

Barber Shop Chronicles at Royal Exchange Theatre, City Centre

7–23 March 2019
From £18.50

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
The Gruffalo at The lowry
Families Until 21 August 2022, from £10.00

The Gruffalo at The Lowry

Festivals Until 31 August 2022, from £9.95

Flying Fighters of Taiwan at HOME

Activity Until 31 August 2022, from £40

Northern Quarter Taster Walk with Manchester Food Walks

One Man, Two Guvnors
Theatre Until 3 September 2022, from £15.00

One Man, Two Guvnors

Exhibitions Until 4 September 2022,

British Art Show 9

Power UP at the Science and Industry Museum
Families Until 4 September 2022, from £6.00

Power UP at the Science and Industry Museum

Families Until 4 September 2022, Free entry for under 16s when accompanied by a paying adult.

Summer Fun in Gaskell’s Garden

Activity Until 30 September 2022, from £25.00

Canoeing and Kayaking on the Mersey

Music Until 5 October 2022, from £5.50

Sounds of Nature at The Stoller Hall