Shape Up at the National Theatre

Shape Up at the National Theatre

Thirty Young Leaders took a 'global journey' to Waterloo to experience the social dynamics of barbering in two hemispheres. The Barbershop Chronicles, a play by Inua Ellams, focussed on the important chit chat typical of a barber shop during a haircut.

The show opened with three of our young leaders experiencing the public gaze and laughter when they were conscripted into barbers' chairs almost in an improv style as the actors engaged with them and the wider audience.

The message of the night was rather more serious as the African continental journey exposed us all to the dynamic dialogue between barber and customer in this boutique-based social confessional. Football, fatherhood, news and politics all discussed with 'barbed' banter by the all-male cast who sang their harmonies between cities - transporting us from London to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra.

After a photo with some of the cast, the Young Leaders wended their way back east. They had clearly enjoyed the buzz of the theatre and a late night on the South Bank.