good dog by Arinzé Kene UK Tour
Press Night: Watford Palace Theatre, Friday 17th February 2017, 7.45pm

Delicately observed and fearlessly told, good dog chronicles Britain’s multi-cultural communities and the everyday injustices that drive people to take back control. Because in the end, everyone who’s good gets what they deserve. Don’t they?

From the star of Crazyhead, Eastenders and Youngers, Arinzé Kene returns to writing for theatre for the first time since God’s Property in 2013. In this vivid, high-energy monologue, Kene tells of community, growing up in a diverse area unified by class and survival, and what happens when you lose faith in being good.

When prejudiced voices are amplified, the arts must remind us of the humans obscured within the propaganda storm. good dog is a clear human voice which tells those important intimate stories in a troubled landscape.

Good Dog is a true epic – spanning multiple characters, families and years. This richly imagined, political and personal piece of theatre introduces an overlapping network of rich characters and stories that explore significant issues for today such as social decay, institutional racism, drug abuse and bullying.

Kene’s initial inspiration for good dog stemmed from a desire to imagine what drove his friends and community to riot in the summer of 2011 – in London and beyond – but it has become a chronicle of a community struggling to survive and fighting back.

Directed by tiata fahodzi’s artistic director Natalie Ibu, this bold, funny and well-observed work opens at Watford Palace Theatre in February and will embark on a UK tour.

Natalie Ibu comments, “Arinzé’s play is an astonishing love letter to the people and places that leave their mark on your life and a troubling thesis about what happens when you are unseen and unheard. At tiata fahodzi we pride ourselves in seeking out stories that see those who sit outside the singular narrative. We refuse to oversimplify the African diaspora and, instead, relish the complexity. We want to multiply the narratives – about ourselves and each other – and debate the mixed experience of Britain today and tomorrow.”

tiata fahodzi creates inclusive theatre that illuminates the mixed and multiple experience of the African diaspora in Britain today. Their work starts with the contemporary British African experience but reaches beyond to ask everyone, what does it mean to be a contemporary Briton, now? Past productions include bricks and pieces by award-winning Charlene James, I know all the secrets in my world and belong by award-winning Bola Agbaje who cites tiata fahodzi’s production of the gods are not to blame in 2005 as her inspiration to write.

Patrons include Lenny Henry and Danny Sapani.

Arinzé Kene is a British Nigerian stage writer and actor. Credits include Misty, Bush Theatre; God’s Property, Soho Theatre; Little Baby Jesus and Estate Walls, Ovalhouse Theatre and screen feature films Seekers and Cure.

good dog will also be embarking on a National tour from February. Further information will be announced shortly.

Title good dog by Arinzé Kene
Performance Dates 14th – 18th February 2017 – Watford Palace Theatre
Tuesday – Saturday, 7.30pm
Saturday matinee, 2.30pm
Running time tbc
Twitter @tiatafahodzi, #goodtiata

Playwright Arinzé Kene
Director Natalie Ibu
Designer Amelia Jane Hankin
Sound Designer Helen Skiera
Producer tiata fahodzi in association with Watford Palace Theatre
Notes Ages 12+
Box Office Tickets are available for £14 (£12 concessions) and
RUMOUR tickets (ages 16-25) at £5 from Watford Palace
Theatre Box Office and www.watfordpalacetheatre.co.uk,
01923 225671

Bios

Arinzé Kene

Arinzé Kene has just finished filming on the new NETFLIX ORIGINAL series Crazyhead – a gripping comedy about demon hunters, where Arinzé plays series regular ‘Tyler’. Arinzé also leads as ‘Ade’ in the Duncan Kenworthy (Love Actually, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral) produced film The Pass opposite Russell Tovey. 2016 will also see the release of J. K. Rowling’s Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them (a spin-off of the Harry Potter series), directed by David Yates, in which Kene plays ‘Auror Johnson’, a detective of the dark magic underworld. This autumn, Kene takes his talents to the West End stage, starring as the lead in the much anticipated One Night In Miami at the Donmar Warehouse, playing soul singing legend ‘Sam Cooke’. After Kene was named on the Screen Internationals ‘Stars of Tomorrow’ list for 2013, he went on to star as ‘Ashley’ in E4 series Youngers (reprising his role and joining the BigTalk story-linging team for the second season in 2014). Kene was then cast as series regular ‘Corporal Kinders’ in BBC’s well-reviewed drama series, Our Girl. As a playwright, Kene’s plays have been staged at theatres including The Bush Theatre, The Birmingham Mac, and Soho Theatre.

Natalie Ibu

Natalie Ibu is the artistic director of tiata fahodzi. Previously she was the Creative Producer for In Good Company, launching the regional artist development programme in the East Midlands for Derby Theatre, Embrace Arts Leicester and Create Mansfield. As a freelancer she has produced for Openworks Theatre and Maison Foo, worked as a Literary Consultant for Fifth Word and a dramaturg for Spilt Milk Dance. In 2014, she was the Programme Manager at the Roundhouse. In 2012/13, she was the Creative Producer for Only Connect, producing a season of cross art-form work. In 2010/11, she was the inaugural Associate Director (Warehouse) for HighTide Festival Productions – responsible for the artist development and a physical research and development studio. In July 2009, she completed a year’s residency at the Royal Court as their Trainee Director. Since graduating with a First Class Honours degree in 2004, she has completed short-term residencies with New York Theatre Workshop, the National Theatre Studio, Royal Shakespeare Company, Citizens’ Theatre and Contact. She has been awarded bursaries from Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme, the Federation of Scottish Theatre, Scottish Arts Council and Arts Council East Midlands. Awards include Dewar Arts Award for Exceptional Artists Under 30, Time Warner Ignite 2, IdeasTap Innovator’s Award and the Lilian Baylis Award for Theatrical Excellence. She is a trustee of the Macrobert Arts Centre in Stirling and Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme. She is also an Arts Council England South East Area Council Member. For the tiata fahodzi, her directing credits include bricks and pieces, i know all the secrets in my world, tiata delights 15, here and mango. Other directing credits include readings and productions at the Riverside Studios, Young Vic, Lyric, Southwark Playhouse, Southbank Centre, Jersey Arts Trust, The Old Vic Tunnels, Theatre503, The Gate, Latitude, HighTide, BAC, Oran Mor, Traverse, Royal Court, ATC at the Young Vic, OVNV at The Old Vic, Waterloo East and The Vineyard Theatre in New York, Royal Lyceum Theatre, Citizens’, The Arches, Contact and Nottingham Playhouse.

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