Set during the early noughties, good dog tells the powerful story of growing up in a multi-cultural community, and the everyday injustices that drive people to take back control. Catch the stunning play written by celebrated playwright and actor Arinzé Kene [Been So Long; EastEnders) during its second UK tour.
Mum’s promised him that bike… so even when school or home-life 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?
Directed by tiata fahodzi’s artistic director, Natalie Ibu, good dog is a true epic spanning multiple characters, families and years. 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.
Speaking about the play, 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 is also 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.”
Where to catch good dog: national tour
Thurs 7 – Sat 8 Feb: Sheffield Theatres, Sheffield www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk
Sat 9 Feb: Northern Stage, Newcastle www.northernstage.co.uk
Tues 12 – Wed 13 Feb: Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough www.sjt.uk.com
Thurs 14 – Sat 16 Feb: Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh www.traverse.co.uk
Sat 23 Feb: Creative Foundation, Folkestone www.creativefoundation.org.uk
Tues 26 – Wed 27 Feb: Stantonbury Theatre, Milton Keynes www.stantonburytheatre.co.uk
Thurs 28 Feb: RADA, London www.rada.ac.uk
Tues 5 March: Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells www.assemblyhalltheatre.co.uk
Wed 6 – Sat 9 March: The Birmingham Repertory Theatre, Birmingham www.birmingham-rep.co.uk
Mon 11 – Tues 12 March: The North Wall Arts Centre, Oxford www.thenorthwall.com
Wed 13 March: E.M. Forster Theatre, Tonbridge www.emftheatre.com
Thurs 14 – Sat 16 March: Salisbury Playhouse, Salisbury www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk
Tues 19 – Sat 23 March: Bernie Grant Arts Centre, London www.berniegrantcentre.co.uk