Following its acclaimed premiere in spring 2017, good dog by Arinzé Kene (Netflix’s Crazyhead; BBC’s EastEnders; Channel 4’s Youngers; Girl From the North Country, West End; Misty, Bush Theatre and West End) prepares to embark on its second national tour from January 2019. Directed by tiata fahodzi’s artistic director Natalie Ibu, good dog is a true epic spanning multiple characters, families and years.
Mum’s promised him that bike so even when school or homelife bites, he knows to keep his chin up, his head down and his shirt clean. No harsh word, no sudden push to the ground will distract him from growing up to be a good man. Because in the end, everyone who’s good gets what they deserve. Don’t they?
Set during the early noughties, good dog tells the story of growing up in a multi-cultural community, and the everyday injustices that drive people to take back control. When prejudiced voices are amplified, the arts must remind us of the humans obscured within the propaganda storm.
The inspiration for Kene’s delicately observed and fearlessly-told play 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.
This richly imagined, political and personal piece of theatre introduces an overlapping network of multi-faceted characters and stories that explore significant issues for today such as social decay, institutional racism, drug abuse and bullying.
Natalie Ibu comments, It’s a real thrill to be able to bring back Arinzé’s play - an astonishing love letter to the people and places that leave their mark on your life - and tour it to more places, meeting more people. In the wake of the Brexit vote, it was a troubling thesis about what happens when you are unseen and unheard, and this only gets louder as time goes on. 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.
The 2019 national tour of good dog is supported by Arts Council England.
Running time 2 hours 25 minutes (including an interval)
Playwright Arinzé Kene
Director Natalie Ibu
Designer Amelia Jane Hankin
Lighting Designer Zoe Spurr
Sound Designer Helen Skiera
Associate Director Anastasia Osei-Kuffour
Associate Lighting Designer Chris May
Producer tiata fahodzi and Tara Finney Productions, in association with Watford Palace Theatre
Thurs 31st Jan – Sat 2nd Feb Watford Palace Theatre, Watford
Tues 5th Feb The Quarry, Bedford
Thurs 7th – Sat 8th Feb Sheffield Theatres, Sheffield
Sat 9th Feb Northern Stage, Newcastle
Tues 12th – Wed 13th Feb Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough
Thurs 14th – Sat 16th Feb Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh
Sat 23rd Feb Creative Foundation, Folkestone
Tues 26th – Wed 27th Feb Stantonbury Theatre, Milton Keynes
Thurs 28th Feb RADA, London
Tues 5th March Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells
Wed 6th – Sat 9th March The Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Birmingham
Mon 11th – Tues 12th March The North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford
Wed 13th March E.M. Forster Theatre, Tonbridge
Thurs 14th – Sat 16th March Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury
Tues 19th – Sat 23rd March Bernie Grant Arts Centre, London
Arinzé Kene was named Most Promising Playwright at the Off-West End Theatre Awards for Estate Walls in 2011, which was also nominated for Best New Play. Arinzé was named as a Screen International UK Star of Tomorrow in 2013 and was invited to take part in the Channel 4 Screenwriting Course in 2012. Arinzé was a member of the Young Writers’ Programme and Writers’ Super Group at the Royal Court Theatre and has been artist on attachment at the Lyric Hammersmith and the National Theatre Studio. Other writing credits include Misty (Bush Theatre & West End, 2018); God’s Property (Soho Theatre, 2013); Little Baby Jesus (Oval House Theatre, 2011); Wild Child (Royal Court, 2011).
Natalie Ibu is the Artistic Director of tiata fahodzi. For the company, directing credits include good dog, 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, 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.
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 mixed brain by ITV Benidorm’s Nathan Bryon, bricks and pieces by award-winning Charlene James, i know all the secrets in my world by Natalie Ibu 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.
Tara Finney Productions
Tara Finney Productions is an independent theatre company, producing theatre in London, on tour and internationally, across the commercial and subsidised sectors. TFP specialises in new writing and has a number of scripts in development including an adaptation of Howl’s Moving Castle and new musical The Canary Girls co-written by Ivor Novello Award winner Tim Kellett. TFP’s productions have been nominated for over 25 awards including Off West End Awards, UK Theatre Awards, the Susan Smith Blackburn Award and the Chita Rivera Awards, New York.