Three youngsters, all alike in identity, on the asphalt of the school playground, where they lay their scene.
Joanne, Kehinde and Rugrat are in their final year of secondary school, teetering on the precipice of adulthood. Arinzé Kene’s debut play, written in 2011, tells the story of how they get there.
With Misty and Good Dog, Kene has made the chronicling of inner city London life his métier. He’s a talented writer, adept at capturing that very specific set of experiences that unites south, east, north and west postcodes: after-school fights under the nearby underpass, evenings spent playing Street Fighter and, come summer, the impossible choice between a Solero Exotic or a white chocolate Magnum.
Rachel Nwokoro delivers Joanne’s speeches with a lyrical flow that could give rapper Lady Leshurr a run for her money. She’s sensational. Khai Shaw is equally brilliant as Rugrat, but is also an impressive multi-roler. Anyebe Godwin evens out the trio with his mature portrayal of Kehinde. Collectively, they’re dynamite.
With this production director Tristan Fynn-Aiduenu – winner of the 2019 JMK Award – announces himself as a serious talent. He has a gift for creating nostalgia on stage and he really knows his audience. His style is energising and the way he balances the commotion of joy with the stillness of suffering is outstanding. In this, his first full-scale production, growing pains make for incredible stories.