God's Property

God's Property
Talawa Theatre Company, Soho Theatre and the Albany

God's Property

Written by Arinze Kene, Directed by Michael Buffong
The Albany; Soho Theatre; mac birmingham

"Promise comes with a name attached: Arinze Kene."

The Guardian

"The writing is superb, the characters are hilarious and the stories are surprisingly broad but gratifyingly focused."

Spoonfed on Little Baby Jesus

About the Production

It's 1982. London is restless, gripped by spiraling unemployment and inner city riots. Ska beats dominate the airwaves and in a flat in Deptford, South London two brothers are re-united unexpectedly.

Sixteen year old, mixed race Onochie rules the family roost. His barely known brother Chima returns to make past wrongs right and to rekindle a relationship with his skinhead younger brother who no longer wants to be black.

Chima is not welcome in the area and only has a few hours to meaningfully connect with Onochie. But outside a hostile community has been alerted to his return. Chima has been blamed for the death of a white girl and the vitriolic community won't be satisfied until they deliver their rough justice.

Onochie faces the tough decision of siding with the community he has tried to belong to; or standing with the brother he doesn't know.

Suitable for 16+

Writer: Arinze Kene
Director: Michael Buffong
Designer: Ellen Cairns
Lighting Designer: Jason Taylor
Composer and Sound Designer: Jack C Arnold
Arinze Kene

Arinze Kene

Arinze Kene was named most promising playwright by Off West End.com (Offies) for his debut play Estate Walls which ran at the Oval House Theatre, London.

English Touring Theatre's co-production of Kene's play Little Baby Jesus was nominated for two Off West End Theatre Awards; Best New Play and Best Male Performer. He was also shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award in 2009.

Arinze was a member of the Young Writers' Programme at the Royal Court Theatre and part of the 2012 Supergroup, during which time he wrote Hoop and Harm. He has been a member of Soho Theatre's Young Writers Group and participated in their HUB writer's programme. He 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. Kene is part of the writing team on E20 for Eastenders/BBC. In 2012, he was a Pearson Writer in Residence at Lyric Theatre, Hammersmith. Arinze's play Hackney Baths was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 during the London Olympics.

He has just completed writing a film for Film London entitled Seekers.

Michael Buffong

Michael Buffong

Michael is the Artistic Director of Talawa Theatre Company, Britain's primary Black-led theatre company.

Theatre credits include: The Serpent's Tooth, Talawa Theatre Company and Almeida Theatre; Moon on a Rainbow Shawl, Royal National Theatre; the multi-award winning A Raisin in the Sun, Manchester Royal Exchange; One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, Leicester Curve; Crawling in the Dark, Almeida; Private Lives, Manchester Royal Exchange; To Kill a Mockingbird, West Yorkshire Playhouse and Birmingham Rep; All the Ordinary Angels, Manchester Royal Exchange; Little Sweet Thing, Hampstead Theatre; Six Degrees of Separation and On My Birthday, Manchester Royal Exchange; Raising the Roof, Palace Theatre Shaftesbury Avenue; Long Time No See, Talawa Theatre Company; Souls, Theatre Centre; The Prayer, Young Vic Studio; Stories From Mean Street, New End Theatre Hampstead; Unfinished Business, Talawa Theatre Company; Airport 2000, Leicester Haymarket; Brother to Brother, Lyric Hammersmith; Scrape of the Black, Theatre Royal Stratford East; and In Pieces, Coventry Belgrade.

Film and television credits include: Holby City, EastEnders, Admin, Placebo, Calais Rules, Doctors, Casualty and Comedy Shuffle (BBC); Hollyoaks (Lime Pictures); Feeling It (Eye2Eye); Blazed (Channel 4) and Simple! (Acapulco Film Festival).

Ellen Cairns

Ellen Cairns trained at Glasgow School of Art and The Slade and was recipient of the Arts Council Theatre Design Bursary. She has been a freelance designer since 1989 and designs extensively in this country and abroad. Previous productions for Talawa include O, Babylon, The Dragon Can't Dance, The Importance of Being Earnest, Medea in the Mirror and King Lear.

Recent productions with Michael Buffong directing are A Raisin in The Sun and Private Lives at Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest at Curve, Leicester.

Current productions include an outdoor performance at Linlithgow Palace of A Satire of The Three Estates, productions of Les Miserables in Finland and Denmark and costumes for Phantom of the Opera in Estonia.

Jason Taylor

Jason has extensive experience lighting for theatre both in the UK and Internationally. His previous work for Talawa includes The Colored Museum and Rum and Coca Cola. His many West End credits include Our Boys (West End); Journey's End (West End/ Broadway, Tony award nominated for 'Best Lighting Design'); Top Girls (West End/Chichester); The Rivals (West End/Bath); Rainman, Absurd Person Singular, Duet for One, High Society, Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead and Abigail's Party.

In addition he has lit numerous productions for the National Theatre, Royal Court, Old Vic, Menier Chocolate Factory, Hampstead Theatre, and most of the leading regional theatres. He has lit twenty seasons at Regent's Park Open Air Theatre where productions include A Midsummer Night's Dream, Richard III, Romeo and Juliet, Kiss Me Kate, Troilus and Cressida, Hamlet and The Pirates of Penzance.

His many national tours include The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Doctor In The House, Season's Greetings, Flashdance, Dancing at Lughnasa, The Surprise Party, Lady Be Good and The Hobbit. International credits include Love Never Dies (Copenhagen); The Merry Wives of Windsor (Globe Theatre USA/ UK Tour); Pygmalion (Broadway); Sweet Sorrow (Los Angeles) and Blood Brothers (Australia/New Zealand).

Jack C Arnold

Jack is a film, theatre and TV music composer and sound designer.

Recent theatre work includes Buried Child, The Lieutenant of Inishmore and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest at Curve Theatre, Leicester.

Other theatre work includes Simon Bent's hit adaptation of Elling, Colin Teevan's Missing Persons: Four Tragedies and Roy Keane and Justin Butcher's The Madness of George Dubya, all in the West End. Jack received an RTS nomination in 2012 for Best Score for the TV comedy drama Holy Flying Circus.

He scored the supernatural series Demons for ITV1; the International Emmy award-winning The Beckoning Silence for C4, and contributed additional music to Shane Meadow's series This is England '86 as well as many other programmes for BBC, ITV, C4, Discovery and National Geographic.

Jack has scored two feature films: The Scouting Book for Boys (Celador Films) directed by long-time collaborator Tom Harper, and Albatross (CinemaNX) directed by Niall MacCormick.

Kingsley Ben-Adir (Chima)
Bradley Gardner (Liam)
Ash Hunter (Onochie)
Ria Zmitrowicz (Holly)
Kingsley Ben-Adir

Kingsley Ben-Adir

Kingsley trained at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. He was a finalist for the Michael Bryant Award in 2011. His film credits include: The Rats Routine, City Slacker and World War Z. Television and theatre credits include Marple: A Caribbean Mystery for ITV; A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Matthew Dunster for Regent's Park Open Air Theatre; The Riots directed by Nicolas Kent at Tricycle Theatre & Bernie Grant Arts Centre; The Westbridge directed by Clint Dyer at the Royal Court Theatre, Two Gentlemen of Verona directed by Matthew Dunster at Theatre Royal, Northampton, and Blue/Orange directed by Karen Henson at Middlesborough Theatre.

Bradley Gardner

Bradley Gardner

Born in the North East and brought up in the New Forest before moving to London to train at Italia Conti, Bradley's theatre credits include Year 10 at the Finborough, which was Time Out's critics choice and transferred to BAC and toured several French theatre festivals; Big Love at The Gate Theatre, Notting Hill Gate directed by Mallissa Kievman and Thea Sharrock; East and West United at Soho Theatre; and Saved at the Lyric Theatre Hammersmith. His TV/film credits include Criminal Justice, Half Broken Things, Doctors and Casualty all for the BBC; The Bill; Neil Maskel's Shitkicker; Q's Fever released on Sony films; and most recently Rites Of Passage for Lime Pictures.

Ash Hunter

Ash Hunter

Ash Hunter graduated from Central School of Speech & Drama in 2011. His theatre credits include: A Midsummer Night's Dream directed by Rae McKen at the Almeida; Gravity directed by Rae McKen at the Birmingham Rep; and A Clockwork Orange directed by Dawn Reid at Theatre Royal Stratford East.

Television and radio credits include: Switch for ITV2; and One Million Tiny Plays for BBC Radio 4.

Ria Zmitrowicz

Ria Zmitrowicz

Ria trained with the National Youth Theatre. Her theatre credits include Chapel Street, for which she won the Emerging Talent Award in Edinburgh earlier this year; Skanky at the Arcola; The Grandfathers at Oval House; The Site at the Camden Roundhouse; and Routes at Hampstead Theatre.

Television credits include Whitechapel and Youngers (a new series for E4). She will soon been seen in Murder On The Homefront on ITV1.



"The writing is pin sharp and true, the performances bang on the money...a little gem."
WhatsOnStage Read the full review


"A treat....funny, feisty and refreshing"
Time Out Read the full review


"...a great evening's theatre that deserves to be seen by as many people as possible."
One Stop Arts Read the full review

Production Photographs

  • Production Photo
  • Production Photo
  • Production Photo
  • Production Photo
  • Production Photo
  • Production Photo
  • Production Photo
  • Production Photo
Click an image to enlarge. Photographs: Helen Maybanks



Supporting and developing new work. Panel discussion with Steve Marmion, Arinze Kene, Michael Buffong, Laura Wade and Bryony Kimmings.

Soho Theatre Public Platform: New Writers

Listen to part 1
Listen to part 2

Tour Dates

  • London
    The Albany

    20 - 23 February
    7.30pm (Previews)
    2.30pm on Saturday 23

    Post show talk with the director and cast: Friday 22
  • London
    Soho Theatre

    26 February - 23 March
    3pm on Saturday 9, 16, 23

    Post show talk with Michael Buffong and Arinze Kene: Saturday 9 (matinee)
    BSL signed performance: Saturday 23, 3pm
  • Birmingham
    mac birmingham

    26 - 28 March
    BSL signed performance: Wednesday 27


Soho Theatre logo

The Albany logo