Theatre review: God’s Property at the Soho Theatre

16:08 04 March 2013

Chima (Kingsley Ben-Adir) and Onochie (Ash Hunter) in God

Chima (Kingsley Ben-Adir) and Onochie (Ash Hunter) in God's Property at the Soho Theatre. Picture: Helen Maybanks

Archant

“We have nothing in common but our surname,” Onochie tells his older brother in God’s Property.

Onochie (Ash Hunter) and Holly (Ria Zmitrowicz) in God's Property at the Soho Theatre. Picture: Helen MaybanksOnochie (Ash Hunter) and Holly (Ria Zmitrowicz) in God's Property at the Soho Theatre. Picture: Helen Maybanks

The latter, Chima, has just arrived back at the family flat in Deptford after serving a 10-year jail sentence.

Born of Irish and Nigerian parents, he finds 16-year-old Onochie (Ash Hunter) is a skinhead who chooses to believe he is no longer black.

We learn the proudly black Chima has been blamed by the hostile community for the death of a local white girl and they are out for revenge.

Although the play is set in 1982, with its references to racism and riots, it could just as easily be today.

Former EastEnders actor Arinze Kene’s script inhabits a similar world to the film This is England and its TV spin-offs and gives each brother multiple chances to shine as their backstory unfolds.

There is a lot of humour and tension – often at the same time – mixed with drama and conflict.

Ria Zmitrowicz is also excellent as Onochie’s would-be girlfriend, Holly, who seems to channel Lauren from The Catherine Tate Show without steering too much into parody, and keeping the drama real.

It does take quite a large suspension of disbelief when it is revealed why Chima was jailed but if you go with it and don’t ask yourself too many questions, it’s worthwhile.

The play is just 90 minutes long without an interval and this works in its favour as it seems more realistic and it would be a shame to break the tension by sledgehammering in an interval just for the sake of it.

At the end of that hour and a half, after much conflict, soul-searching and making up, Chima tells his brother: “We do have something in common because you are my favourite too.”

God’s Property is at Soho Theatre until March 23.

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

Latest Stories from SNAP.PA

We look at the big names in the world of sport, music, fashion, TV and film that most influence these islands.

Read more

Paul Bettany has said playing an on-screen character in the latest Marvel film means working harder than when he was simply providing a voice.

Read more

Emmerdale’s Ryan Hawley thinks Robert Sugden’s feelings for Aaron Livesy are purely superficial.

Read more

Promoted content

Established in 1987, Tucci is one of the North's premier stores for branded clothing, footwear and accessories.

Save up to 70% on designer brands for Men and Women, including G-Star, Diesel, French Connection, Firetrap and many more….our sale is now on.

[Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images]

It’s the new year and you’re looking forward to booking your summer holidays - but how do sunny getaways change when you’ve got children?

Top Stories

Quizzes

Adrian Chiles is no longer ITV's main man... so why not test your knowledge of some of his (and others') greatest gaffes? (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)

With news of presenter Adrian Chiles’ sacking by ITV, it’s a good time to remember some of the most memorable punditry blunders.

Read more
[Image by Gary Tallowin]

In which we remember the stations that have gone before...

Read more
£50million Fernando Torres and former Fulham striker Kostas Mitroglous are two of the biggest transfer flops in recent Premier League history

The transfer window is a time for optimisim, but it doesn’t always work out for the best...

Read more