‘Everyone gets what they deserve, they have to…’
It’s in the window of Sam’s, behind the rusty display. Two wheels, shiny body, handlebars ready to be gripped. 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.
Set during the early noughties, good dog is a theatrical monologue that chronicles growing up in a multicultural community, and the everyday injustices that drive people to take back control. Because even the most patient among us can’t wait forever.
Delicately observed and fearlessly told, good dog was first produced by tiata fahodzi in association with Watford Palace Theatre in spring 2017.
‘One of Britain’s most exciting young playwrights’ Guardian
Extra Content: Arinzé Kene on good dog, putting himself into his plays, and the 2011 UK riots. Read the Guardian interview here.
'Theatre at its most simple and its most striking... Kene balances humour and tragedy with enormous skill, but, when he unites his story with real-life events, his play bites like a Rottweiler. If the argument that the way forward may not always be the good way is morally ambiguous, the play's central messages, advocating self-empowerment and positivity, are uplifting and encourage a vision of hope emerging from tragedy and despair'
'Infused with an exhilarating urgency, with sparks of gentle humour, and with a fierce, deep-seated anger born of relentless injustice… compellingly vital theatre'
'An amazing piece of writing with a fine ear for the vernacular and a real authenticity… funny and moving and so accurate… though much of it charts the bad things that happen — the injustices, frustrations, infidelities and personal tragedies — it is also a celebration of resilience and determination that leaves you with hope rather than anger'
Arinzé Kene is a playwright and actor. His plays include good dog (Tiata Fahodzi, 2017); God’s Property (Soho Theatre, 2013); and Little Baby Jesus (Ovalhouse, 2011).