The barbershop means so many different things to black and African men – it's more than just the place they go to when their hair is out of place. From politics to sports, no topic is off-limits once the barber's clipper starts buzzing.
So, for six weeks in 2013, British-Nigerian playwright Inua Ellams sat in six different barbershops in six different cities in Africa, simply listening to the men of different backgrounds talk. He took these experiences and wrote the play, Barber Shop Chronicles.
Set in barbershops traversing Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos, Accra and London, the acclaimed play reveals the funny, sometimes ridiculous, sometimes moving conversations being had by black men around the world.
Speaking with Stuff about the play, Inua said:
"What the Barber Shop Chronicles is really about is men grappling with the changing world around them.
The changing nature of masculinity, the mental well-being implications of that and what they see of black masculinity in everything from Nelson Mandela to hip-hop."
Most of the reviews of the play have been glowing. The Guardian rated it four out of five stars, calling it an "invigorating and richly enjoyable drama", while The Independent gave it five stars and said it was "an ambitious piece and so life-affirmingly realised".