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National Theatre at Home Streams Barber Shop Chronicles for Free via YouTube May 14 – 21

Stage Directions • Theatre Buzz • May 15, 2020

The National Theatre in the UK has created National Theatre at Home, a free streaming service that provides access to content online to serve audiences in their homes. Audiences around the world can stream NT Live productions for free via YouTube. Now through May 21st, it’s streaming its production of Barber Shop Chronicles with a running time of 1 hour, 45 mins with a no interval. Here’s a link to the streaming video of Barber Shop Chronicles:

Newsroom, political platform, local hotspot, confession box, preacher-pulpit, and football stadium. For generations, African men have gathered in barber shops to discuss the world. These are places where the banter can be barbed, and the truth is always telling. Directed by Olivier award-winning director Bijan Sheibani, Barber Shop Chronicles is a heart-warming, hilarious, and insightful new play that leaps from a barber shop in Peckham to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos, and Accra over the course of a single day. This enhanced archive recording was captured by the National Theatre in January 2018 and features the original cast.

The Creative and Production Team for Barber Shop Chronicles includes: Director Bijan Sheibani; Designer Rae Smith; Lighting Designer Jack Knowles; Sound Designer Gareth Fry; Fight Director Kev McCurdy; Stage Manager Andrew Speed; Deputy Stage Manager Fiona Bardsley; and Assistant Stage Manager Naomi Brooks.

The National Theatre—like theatres around the world—is facing a devastating impact from Coronavirus. They launched National Theatre at Home free of charge. Should viewers wish to make a donation to support the National Theatre, there is a public appeal on our home page:

Further information from the National Theatre:

“Our ambition at the National Theatre is to create work, which is challenging, entertaining, and inspiring and we’re committed to continuing that through these difficult times,” Lisa Burger, Executive Director and Joint Chief Executive said. “I’m thrilled that we’re able to fulfil this ambition in a different way through our collaboration with YouTube. I am exceptionally proud of the team at the National Theatre for working so hard to create National Theatre at Home and also to the rights holders who have been so supportive of this new initiative allowing us to bring theatre to households right across the world. We have delved into the National Theatre Live archive and curated a program that’s varied from comedy to new dramas to classics so there is something for everyone to enjoy from their own homes. We will be streaming each production at the same time each week in order to recreate, where possible, the communal viewing experience and we hope this will be an opportunity for people to share their enjoyment together online.”

Christina Matteotti, Head of Music and Culture Partnerships, EMEA said, “During this incredibly difficult time, we are so glad that institutions like the National Theatre are using the platform to share treasured cultural content with the UK and global communities who are facing self-isolation. Technology can bring the cultural and creative world inside your home. We look forward to seeing how National Theatre at Home on YouTube delights the community and provides a chance to continue to learn.”


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