REVIEW: Arinze Kene's 'God's Property' at the Soho Theatre
Arinze Kene’s writing, Michael Buffong’s direction, and the dynamic cast of four, have created a compelling-provocative show that has been mustering great reviews, and sold out nights at the Soho Theatre in London .
When you look at the poster for God’s Property, one could be amiss in mistaking this for a play that seeks to imitate or ride the bandwagon of cult film and television series, This is England. However on watching the 90 minute play, you’ll realise that eighties England and its skinhead culture are merely a backdrop to this unique story of domestic disharmony; a story that should be heard and seen by all.
The play is set in 1982 during the inner city riots, and follows the reunion of two mixed race brothers (British and Nigerian); and the way they repair their fractured relationship; whilst dealing with being mixed race in a country of black or white.
For me, there are two standout elements to the play’s success. Firstly, it’s the small details in Kene’s writing. For example, the way he uses the brown mouse as a foreshadowing motif; and also as a metaphor for what the black man is seen as in the brothers' white dominated community. I also loved the intricacy of the dialogue; the way that it always had an element of poetry; but never seemed to stifle the Dagenham flow and vernacular. Secondly, I absolutely loved the choices made by actors Kingsley Ben-Adir and Ria Zmitrowicz. The whole cast were an amazing ensemble; but these two really shone; and the funny thing is that each actor seemed to be polar opposites in their acting styles. Kingsley seemed to be more introverted; I was always intrigued by his eyes and the intentions that seemed to be bubbling under the surface; whilst Ria was more of a character actor and her characterisation of the sixteen year old girlfriend of younger brother, Onochie, was simply amazing; especially the way she was able to sustain all those gestures and hilarious quirks throughout the show; that girl is seriously funny (your stomach is going to hurt when you watch her).
The show ends tomorrow night at the Soho Theatre; but will move to the Birmingham MAC. Go check it out.