UCLA's Center for the Art of Performance (CAP UCLA) presents the West Coast premiere of Nigerian-born, UK-based poet, playwright and performer Inua Ellams' celebrated play Barber Shop Chronicles, a co-production of Fuel, National Theatre and West Yorkshire Playhouse, from Thursday, Oct. 18 to Saturday, Oct. 20 at 8 p.m. at the Freud Playhouse, UCLA. Tickets for $29-$59 are available now at, 310-825-2101, Ticketmaster and the UCLA Central Ticket Office.

A sold-out sensation in multiple London runs, Barber Shop Chronicles explores the diversity of black male identity through the intimate community of the urban barbershop, where African men have gathered for generations to discuss the world and their lives. These are places where the banter can be barbed but the truth is always telling. The cast riffs on topics both personal and political - from family to race relations to views about fatherhood and masculinity - as we eavesdrop on conversations in six different barbershops in London, Lagos, Johannesburg, Accra, Kampala and Harare over the course of a single day.

Ellams has described his plays as "failed poems": "The voices in my head just began to grow bigger, louder and in numbers. When this happens, the poems become multi-voiced and turn into dialogue. Eventually this dialogue breaks away from the poetic form altogether. There were several voices feeding into the conversations within the sacred spaces that barbershops seemed to be."

A "joyous, surprising, moving production" (Times of London), Barber Shop Chronicles resonates with audiences and critics alike for its deeply engaging sense of humor and humanity.

The cast for the United States and Canada fall tour of Barber Shop Chronicles is Tuwaine Barrett, Elliot Edusah, Maynard Eziashi, Alhaji Fofana, Bayo Gbadomsi, Solomon Israel, Patrice Naiambana, Anthony Ofoegbu, Kenneth Omole, Ekow Quartey, Jo Servi and David Webber. The production is directed by Bijan Sheibani, designed by Rae Smith, with lighting design by Jack Knowles, movement direction by Aline David and sound design by Gareth Fry.

The tour will visit Gammage Theatre at Arizona State University, CAP UCLA at Freud Playhouse, Zellerbach Hall at University of Berkeley California, Seattle Moore Theatre, The Roble Theatre at Stanford University, The Grand Theatre in London Canada, Kennedy Center in Washington, ART in Boston and The Moore Theatre at Dartmouth College Hanover.

Kate McGrath, Director of Fuel, and Inua Ellams met in 2008, after Kate saw what became Inua's first theatre show, The 14th Tale, at BAC. Fuel helped Inua develop his debut play and produced it, premiering it at the Edinburgh Festival, winning a Fringe First, touring it in the UK and internationally and presenting it at the National Theatre. Since that first meeting, Fuel has worked closely with Inua, producing Untitled, Knight Watch, Long Song Goodbye, Black T-shirt Collection, The Spalding Suite, An Evening with an Immigrant, and Barber Shop Chronicles. Fuel is also currently co-producing Inua's latest play, The Half God of Rainfall with Kiln Theatre and Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

Funds for this performance provided by Deborah Irmas, Diane Levine and the Royce Center Circle Endowment Fund and the George C. Perkins Fund.

Co-commissioned by Fuel and the National Theatre. Development funded by Arts Council England with the support of Fuel, National Theatre, West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Binks Trust, British Council ZA, Òran Mór and A Play, a Pie and a Pint.

This event was made possible by support from the British Council.

Barber Shop Chronicles opens CAP UCLA's Theater series, which continues in 2019 with CAP UCLA in association with the Music Center presents Dimitris Papaioannou's The Great Tamer (Jan. 11, Royce Hall), Quote Unquote Collective in association with Why Not Theatre MOUTHPIECE (Feb. 9, Royce Hall Rehearsal Room), Andrew Dawson: Space Panorama and Spirit of the Ring (Feb. 21-22, Royce Hall Rehearsal Room), Carrie Mae Weems: Past Tense (March 8, The Theatre at Ace Hotel), CAP UCLA in association with Center Theatre Group presents The White Album by Joan Didion by Lars Jan/Early Morning Opera (April 5-7, Freud Playhouse).


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