Talawa Theatre Company's Artistic Director Michael Buffong has announced full casting for his production of God's Property, by award winning playwright and actor Arinze Kene. Kingsley Ben-Adir (The Riots, Tricycle Theatre) and Ash Hunter (A Clockwork Orange, Theatre Royal Stratford East) will play the two estranged mixed race brothers Chima and Onochie, who both inhabit the restless streets of Deptford in the early 1980s. They are joined by Ria Zmitrowicz (Chapel Street, The Bush Theatre) as Holly and Bradley Gardner (Saved, Lyric Hammersmith) as Liam. God's Property will preview in Deptford at the Albany from 20 February before its premiere at Soho Theatre from 26 February and then tours to mac in Birmingham from 26 March.
It's 1982. London is restless, gripped by spiraling youth unemployment, inner city riots and an economic downtown. Ska beats dominate the airwaves and in a flat in Deptford, South London, two estranged mixed race brothers are re-united unexpectedly. But notions of family and belonging are put to the test when a pack of hostile neighbours gather outside to deliver their own rough justice.
Kingsley Ben-Adir's recent theatre credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream (Regent's Park), The Westbridge (Royal Court) and The Riots (Tricycle Theatre and Bernie Grant Arts Centre). Ash Hunter's theatre credits include A Midsummer Night's Dream (Almeida Theatre), Gravity (Birmingham Rep) and A Clockwork Orange (Theatre Royal Stratford East).
Ria Zmirowicz received the Scotsmen Fringe Award for Emerging Talent for her performance in Chapel Street (Underbelly and Bush Theatre). Previous theatre credits include Skanky (Arcola Theatre) and The Grandfathers (NT Connections at the Oval House Theatre). Bradley Gardner theatre credits include Saved (Lyric Hammersmith), Big Love (Gate Theatre) and United East West (Soho Theatre).
In 2011 Arinze Kene was one of the inaugural Soho Six; a selected group of six writers who are commissioned and are in residency for a six month period to work on a new play for Soho Theatre. During his residency Arinze wrote God's Property. He was named most promising playwright by Off West End.com (Offies) for his debut play Estate Walls (Oval House Theatre, 2010). Little Baby Jesus (English Touring Theatre) was shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon award in 2009. Arinze was a member of the Royal Court's Young Writer's Progamme and the 2012 Supergroup. His play Hackney Baths was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 during the Olympics and he was this year's Pearson Writer in Residence at Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. Arinze is part of the writing team on E20 for Eastenders/BBC. He has just completed writing a film for Film London entitled Seekers. As an actor, Arinze is best known for his portrayal of 'Connor Stanley' in EastEnders, and has also starred in The Lion King.
Michael Buffong became Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company in March 2012. He is most recently directed The Serpent's Tooth (Talawa Theatre Company and Almeida Theatre) by David Watson. Previous productions include Moon on a Rainbow Shawl (National Theatre), the multi-award winning A Raisin in the Sun (Manchester Royal Exchange), Crawling in the Dark (Almeida Theatre), and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (Leicester Curve).
Talawa Theatre Company is the UK's primary black-led theatre companies. The Company aims to create work informed by the wealth and diversity of the Black British experience, with the mission to invest in talent, build audiences and inspire dialogue with and within communities across Britain.