Arinzé Kene

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Arinze Kene
Born1987 (age 31–32)
Lagos, Nigeria
OccupationActor, Playwright

Arinze Kene is a British actor and playwright.[1]

Early life[edit]

In 1987, Kene was born in Lagos, Nigeria. Kene's father was a taxi driver.[2]


Kene has appeared in stage productions such as playing Simba in The Lion King, Daddy Cool,[3] and in June 2009 played strutting lothario Raymond LeGrendre in the musical Been So Long, based on Ché Walker's 1998 play, which opened at the Young Vic.[4] Kene also plays the lead in 2010 UK Film Council feature Freestyle.[1]

In 2010, he joined the cast of the BBC's EastEnders as Connor Stanley,[5] for which he was nominated for Best Newcomer at the 2011 All About Soap Bubble Awards.[6]

In January 2011, his play Suffocation opened at the Oval House Theatre in London.[7]

He won the 2010 award for Most Promising Playwright at The Offies (Off West End award).[citation needed] His latest play, Little Baby Jesus at the Oval House, has been nominated for Best New Play in The Offies 2011.[citation needed] He is a member of the series 3 writing team for EastEnders: E20.[8] In April 2011, his casting as Rocco in Hollyoaks was announced.[9]

In 2014 he played Corporal Kinders in the first series of the BBC One military drama Our Girl.

In 2016, he starred in The Pass alongside Russell Tovey, a film about two gay footballers which premiered at the British Film Institute's Flare Festival of LGBT films.

In 2016 he portrayed Tyler in the television series Crazyhead.[10]

From 6 October to 3 December 2016 Kene acted and sang in the role of Sam Cooke in the Donmar Warehouse production of the European premiere of One Night in Miami, a play by Kemp Powers[11]

He will appear opposite Beanie Feldstein and Alfie Allen in How to Build a Girl, directed by Coky Giedroyc.[12]

In 2018, Arinze starred in Misty, which in September transferred to Trafalgar Studios, following a sold-out run at the Bush Theatre earlier in the year. The play was written by Kene, directed by Omar Elerian and produced by Trafalgar Entertainment Group.[13] Arinze appeared in BBC1 drama, The Long Song. In the final episode of the story of a slave girl, he played the girl's grown up son, whom she had left on the steps of a church as a baby.


Year Title Role Notes
2010 Freestyle Leon feature film
2010 Casualty Jacob Maynard TV series, 3 episodes
2010 EastEnders Connor Stanley TV series, 41 episodes
2011 Drink, Drugs and KFC Jason Simpson short film
2011 Hollyoaks Rocco TV series, 2 episodes
2013 Youngers Ashley TV series, 16 episodes
2014 Our Girl Corp. Kinders TV series, 5 episodes
2016 The Pass Ade feature film
2016 Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Auror 6 feature film
2016 Crazyhead Tyler TV series, 6 episodes
2018 Been So Long Raymond feature film
2018 Informer Sal Brahimi TV series, 6 episodes
2019 How to Build a Girl feature film


  1. ^ a b "AN INTERVIEW WITH THE RISING PLAYWRIGHT AND ACTOR". 12 April 2010. Archived from the original on 16 April 2010. Retrieved 15 October 2010.
  2. ^ "Interview: Arinzé Kene." 10 March 2018. Retrieved 7 May 2019.
  3. ^ Ositelu, Tola (21 September 2010). "Arinze Kene Interview: It's The Choices You Make That Mark Your Destiny". Soul Culture. Soul Culture Media Ltd.
  4. ^ "First Night Feature:Been So Long". Society of London Theatre. 18 January 2009.
  5. ^ Williams, Karla (27 January 2010). "An Interview with Rising Playwright and Actor". The New Black Magazine.
  6. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (13 February 2011). "In Full: All About Soap Bubble nominations". Digital Spy. London: Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  7. ^ Tim Masters (12 January 2011). "EastEnders actor Arinze Kene seeks stage success". BBC Sport. Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  8. ^ "EastEnders actor Arinze Kene seeks stage success". BBC News. BBC. 12 January 2011. Archived from the original on 13 January 2011. Retrieved 20 January 2011.
  9. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (12 April 2011). "'Enders Connor to appear in 'Hollyoaks'". Digital Spy. London: Hachette Filipacchi UK. Retrieved 12 April 2011.
  10. ^ Christopher Hooten (9 May 2016). "Crazy Face: Misfits creator lands new E4 and Netflix drama about 'angst and exorcism'". Independent. Retrieved 24 May 2016.
  11. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 6 November 2016. Retrieved 6 November 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  12. ^ Wiseman, Andreas (16 July 2018). "Beanie Feldstein Comedy 'How To Build A Girl' Adds Cast, Lionsgate With Shoot Under Way". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 July 2018.
  13. ^ "Misty". Retrieved 7 May 2019.

External links[edit]