I’m not usually crazy about rankings and hierarchy in the creative arts so, please, see this as more of a summary of all the shows that really shook me. Except for the Number One. I’m all about cheerleading that star at the top of my own personal Christmas tree. But I loved each of these shows and, if you caught them, I hope you did too.
That it is sold out shouldn’t stop you from trying to get tickets – there’s Friday Rush and there’s refreshing this page in case of returns, and boy is it worth it.
The thing that was, to me, most striking about Barber Shop Chronicles, was the familiarity of it all. From that specifically African sound made in the back of one’s throat (usually to express disapproval), right the way to Prince Nico Mbarga’s Sweet Mother softly playing in the background, via the playful rivalry between the Black Carribbean community and the Black African community.
Random and topical thoughts and quotes gathered by My Theatre Mates contributor Aleks Sierz, first published on www.sierz.co.uk.
It’s fun down in the Dorfman pit. Under exuberant African barbershop posters from Lagos, Harare, Accra – and London – a cast of barbers and customers-to be josh and wander, dance a few steps and accost the front row. Their territory is a mongrel assembly of garden chairs, sofas, much-used equipment, lanterns and one ancient generator.
The hugely convivial pre-show entertainment for Barber Shop Chronicles is such good fun that I thought to myself I could easily just watch this for an hour. As it turned out, press night delays meant that it was extended by about thirty minutes, during which you really got to appreciate how quietly radical it is.