Dean Chalkley - Barber Shop Chronicles

Inua Ellams' new play directed by Bijan Sheibani has its world premiere at the National Theatre in June before moving to West Yorkshire Playhouse in July. Barber Shop Chronicles unfolds in a succession of barber shops across Africa and the UK. For generations, African men have gathered in barber shops. They sometimes sit for haircuts, sometimes sit to listen, mostly they stand to talk. These barber shops are confession boxes, political platforms, preacher-pulpits and football pitches… places to go for unofficial advice, from where to keep in touch with the world. Inspired in part by the story of a Leeds barber, the play invites the audience into a unique environment where the banter may be barbed, but the truth always telling. The barbers of these tales are sages, role models and father figures who keep the men together and the stories alive.

Campaign artwork shot by Dean in London.