top of page

Dolphins and Sharks

By James Anthony Tyler

At the Finborough Theatre

 Yusuf needs a break-his philosophy degree from NYU isn't opening any doors, but his new job would help him pay his overdue rent; Xiomara doesn't want to settle for the marriage scenario her Dominican mother keeps pushing on her; Isabel needs her job to put three kids through school but still manages to keep her sense of humour.


All three are employees of Harlem Office, New York, a neighbourhood copy shop where promotions are rare, raises are even rarer and racism is often on display. But when one staff member is given the chance to move up to manager, friendships are tested and loyalty turns out to be less valuable than cold hard cash. Soon cutbacks and office politics have everyone fighting to keep their jobs and their sanity. 

A searing new comedy about clocking in, clocking out and rising up.


“A fiery and sassy take on the world of work, dead end jobs, race and power.” Paul Ewing, Paul in London

“An explosive comedy-drama of office politics and racial tension.”

Giverny Masso, The Stage

“An excellent production. Every minute of this performance is enjoyable, electric and thought-provoking.”

Emily Pulham, Everything Theatre

“Effortlessly brutal and heart-breaking. I once read that when viewing theatre you should ask two questions – ‘why this play?’ and ‘why now?’, I don’t think I have ever seen a play on the London Fringe that gives such an immediate and affirmative answer to those questions, as Dolphins and Sharks. An invigorating production…I can’t recommend this play highly enough. Highly provocative, this left people arguing in the bar long past the show ended”

Jo Greaves, The Spy In The Stalls

“A powerful, impactful production which also feels worryingly relevant to contemporary societal issues. Brilliantly written.”

Emily Pulham, Everything Theatre

“An excellent and enthralling play.”

Ebony Online

“It tells an important, very real story of a workplace bubbling with discontent behind the apparent calm of business prioritising profits over everything else.”

Keith Mckenna, British Theatre Guide

“James Anthony Tyler’s timely comedy, first shown as part of Finborough’s Vibrant Festival of new writing (2016), neatly brings new arguments to the racism debate. Director Lydia Parker does a fine job of bringing five contrasting characters together in a lively, well-paced show”

Heather Jeffrey, London Pub Theatres

“Sharpest on the intersection between systemic and identity politics, Tyler's play shows how prejudices and privileges undercut meritocracy. It's stuffed with small, but significant details of culture and class.”

Matt Trueman, WhatsOnStage

“One-to-watch African-American playwright, James Anthony Tyler...Tyler has much of worth to say, about social status and economic expectation, about race and racism. Remember the name: we’ll be hearing more from him.”

Fiona Mountford, Evening Standard

“Funny, fast paced, warm-hearted and ultimately very challenging. Director Lydia Parker does a stunning job of keeping the elements well-balanced and getting top quality performances out of her small cast. This is Off West End at its very best – go and see it.”

Owen Davies, Plays To See


Shyko Amos, Hermelio Miguel Aquino, Michael Brown, Ammar Duffus and Rachel Handshaw


Director: Lydia Parker

Set and Costume Designer: Anna Driftmier

Lighting Designer: Ben Jacobs

Sound Designer: Richard Bell

bottom of page