Arinzé Kene’s good dog returns in 2019 for a brand new national tour and we are thrilled to announce Kwaku Mills as our brand new boy. We got to speak with our exciting new talent ahead of rehearsals….
What drew you to the project?
I’m a big fan of Arinzè Kene’s writing so I jumped at the chance to audition for this show. I actually did a monologue from one of his other plays, Little Baby Jesus, to get into drama school. There’s a wonderful poetic, playful quality to his writing. And I was of course drawn to the central character too. A young black boy who is essentially exploring, and in a lot of ways challenging what that identity means. It’s a dream role.
What do you love about your character and how similar/different is he to you?
My character, “boy”, is an observer. People overlook and underestimate him, but he’s actually incredibly astute and intelligent, particularly emotionally. He’s got a quiet inner confidence which I really love, and can relate to in some ways. I think he’s a lot more mature than I was at 13 though!
How does good dog compare to any project you’ve done before?
I’ve never done a one man show before, or actually a modern play about London, so it’s a new experience! I don’t think I can compare it to anything else I’ve done which is actually really exciting.
As you’ve pointed out good dog is a one man show so naturally challenging, do you think you’ll find it easier or harder to perform without a supporting cast?
There’s definitely a comfort in having a supporting cast. Learning lines when you’re the only one speaking is a bit daunting! The play I did before this though, The End of Eddy, was a two-hander with direct address to the audience, which I’d never done before either, so that’s given me some good practice.
Growing up, were there any similarities to the world Arinzè has created in good dog?
I grew up in London during the period the play is set, so some of the 00’s cultural references in the play are very familiar to me. I definitely neglected my fair share of tamagochis! I’d say that the specifics of boy’s story are different to my own but certainly the London depicted is one that I saw around me, and I think its captured with real honesty.
Why is it important to tell stories like good dog in theatre?
good dog depicts characters we rarely see on stage, without being patronising, or stereotypical, and asks really intelligent and timely questions about morality. At its heart it’s good storytelling and I think that’s what we want to see at the theatre.
What do you hope the audience will take away from good dog?
I hope they’ll take away a newfound admiration for the writing, if they’re not familiar with it, and a better understanding of the nuanced, complex characters and world depicted.
See Kwaku in action as good dog kicks off it’s new tour on 31 Jan 2019 at Watford Palace Theatre before coming to a theatre near you through Feb & March. Grab your tickets!