The 10 best things to do this week: Barber Shop Chronicles and Sundance

The role of the hairdresser in African culture is the subject of a new play, while the best new independent cinema is screened in London

Fisayo Akinade rehearsing Barber Shop Chronicles
‘The usual?’ Fisayo Akinade rehearsing Barber Shop Chronicles. Photograph: Marc Brenner
‘The usual?’ Fisayo Akinade rehearsing Barber Shop Chronicles. Photograph: Marc Brenner

Last modified on Thu 26 Mar 2020 08.34 EDT


The RSC’s new, contemporary take on Oscar Wilde’s one-act drama, with the titular character played by a male actor, Matthew Tennyson. Owen Horsley directs, with original music from Perfume Genius.
Swan Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon, 2 June to 6 September

Barber Shop Chronicles
This new play is set in Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos, Accra and London and explores the role of the barber shop in the African community, from confession box to political platform. The play will be accompanied by talks and events, including a showing of Chris Rock’s coiffure doc, Good Hair.
National Theatre: Dorfman, SE1, 30 May to 8 July; West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds, 12-29 July


Alice Neel
A major exhibition of the work of 20th-century portraitist Neel – once dubbed a “romantic bohemian-type communist” by the FBI – whose images of Harlem’s Hispanic and black communities are among the most sensitive and celebratory depictions of urban life.
Victoria Miro, N1, to 29 July


Edinburgh international children’s festival
High jinx ... Edinburgh international children’s festival.

Edinburgh international children’s festival
Who says that adults get to have all the fun? Scotland’s international festival of performing arts for children and young people has a huge range of activities and events, many of which are free. Performances include dance piece Bounce by French collective Compagnie Arcosm; puppetry show Bamberts Book of Lost Stories; a film screening of Aussie teen drama Girl Asleep; and magical-looking underwater performance installation Primo ( for more info).
Various venues, 27 May to 4 June

Byline festival
It bills itself as “a protest against fake news and alternative facts”, and Byline festival boasts an admirable range of perspectives, from Brexiter John Cleese to liberal mainstays such as Bonnie Greer. There’ll also be music from the likes of the Blow Monkeys, standup from Hardeep Singh Kohli plus workshops, immersive theatre, art installations and health spas.
Pippingford Park, East Sussex, 2-4 June

Sundance film festival
The celebrated independent film festival returns to London, with an impressive slate of screenings at London’s Picturehouse Central. They include “half chamber drama, half dark dramedy of errors” Beatriz at Dinner starring Salma Hayek; Jon Hamm-plays-robot-husband-flick Majorie Prime; gorgeous underwater doc Chasing Coral; plus talks with director David Lowery (Ain’t Them Bodies Saints); a panel on film-making in the Trump era; and much more.
Picturehouse Central, W1, 1-4 June


Swet Shop Boys
Politically charged ... Swet Shop Boys. Photograph: Christopher Bethell

Swet Shop Boys
You’ve seen him in Star Wars, you’ve cheered at his brilliant speech about diversity in parliament, now see him live, as Riz Ahmed and his “boys” Heems and Redinho bring their politically charged hip-hop to London in support of last year’s album Cashmere.
Scala, N1, 1 June


Inside Donald Trump
Among a flurry of Trump podcasts, this is the most intriguing. Comic Andy Hamilton claims that it’s time to get serious, and he promises a journey into the president’s very soul. Michael Buerk will lend journalistic credibility; also joining Hamilton will be Ronni Ancona and Claire Skinner.
Listen to the trailer at

Bank holiday clubbing

An extra day off work means an extra day for partying, and there are plenty of al fresco parties up and down the UK to occupy dancing feet including, in London on Sunday, the Gala festival, featuring original Paradise Garage resident Joey Llanos and Studio 54’s Nicky Siano; and M:Openair at Liverpool’s Constellations with “classy minimal house” all day.
Gala festival, Brockwell Park, SE24; M:Openair, Constellations, Liverpool


Wonder Woman
Star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins’s first world war fighter could be the heroine that redeems DC’s flagging superhero franchise.
In cinemas on 1 June