Review: Barber Shop Chronicles

First published in The Times, Monday October 28 2019

Four Stars

In Inua Ellams’s acclaimed play, the barber’s shop is much more than a place to go for a haircut. “This is a space for talk,” says Emmanuel (Anthony Ofoegbu), the proprietor of the busy gents hairdresser that provides the play’s recurring setting. There is a sense throughout that no subject is off limits.

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Review: An Evening with an Immigrant – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Thursday August 24 2017

Four Stars

Inua Ellams first came to the attention of fringe audiences with his award-winning one-man show The 14th Tale, in which the poet, playwright and performer told stories of his childhood in Nigeria, London and Dublin. Passages of Ellams’s first stage success find their way into this vivid, multi-layered piece of storytelling. The autobiographical building blocks are the same, but here the performer allows his righteous anger – as well as his considerable charm and generosity of spirit – free rein.

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Review: The Red Chair – Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh

First published in The Times, Monday March 20 2017

Four Stars

“Warning: this performance may contain nuts,” runs the notice along the bottom of the programme’s cover. Sure enough, there is a hint of almonds in the madeleine cakes that are served to the audience during one of the brief pauses in the action. Later on, we are treated to chewy medjool dates and squares of rich dark chocolate, accompanying a dram of anCnoc single malt.

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