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

Don't Miss...

What is this?

Near You Now

Competitions

Shop till you drop!

Home to top name brands at great prices, TK Maxx is more like a treasure hunt than a shop. Perfect for grabbing a bargain or some hidden gems, you arm yourself with a trolley and go wild.

Read more
Scones, jam and a cup of Earl Grey anyone?

Luxury boutique hotel Flemings Mayfair has recently launched The Drawing Room, London’s most stylish location for afternoon tea.

Read more
Free weekly shop? Yes please!

Win £200 to spend at Asda, one of the country’s leading supermarkets. Asda prides itself in being one of the cheapest places to shop, so you can be sure that your money will go a long way here.

Read more