Small Axe

First look images revealed of Lennie James, Sharon D. Clarke and Ariyon Bakare in Mr Loverman

Lennie James walks down the steps of a house in a white and grey checkered suit

The eight-part series adapts Bernardine Evaristo’s 2013 novel of the same name, following Barrington ‘Barry’ Jedidiah Walker. Barry has been married to Carmel for 50 years, who has begun to worry that there are other women on the side.

She’s right, in a way: he is having an affair, but not with a woman. Barry’s lover is his best friend of several years, Morris De La Roux. As they reach the end of their lives, Barry reckons with big decisions which could call his entire family’s future into question.

The creation of Steve McQueen’s anthology Small Axe

Small Axe: Lovers Rock (Credit: BBC)

The benefits of assembling genuinely diverse production teams are often talked about but seldom fully realised. A notable recent exception was Steve McQueen’s ground breaking Small Axe, the anthology of five feature films first shown on BBC One late last year, and the recent winner of five Bafta craft awards. 

Four of the five films depicted the troubling experiences of first-generation West Indians living in west London during the 1960s, 1970s and 1980s, while the fifth, Lovers Rock, was a celebration of a night out at a house party in Ladbroke Grove in 1980. 

Production Focus: Small Axe | RTS London

The production team behind Steve McQueen's drama, Small Axe, discuss the making of the love letters to resilience and triumph within London's West Indian community.

They share the casting, costume, screenplay and research processes behind each episode of the series.

Aradhna Tayal - Producer & Consultant, Clockhouse Media

Tracey Scoffield - Executive Producer
Courttia Newland - Co-Writer
Gary Davy - Casting
JoJo Williams - Hair & Makeup 

BBC One announces new series from Steve McQueen

The films will explore the events surrounding the New Cross Fire in January 1981, which killed 13 black teenagers, the Black People’s Day of Action in the aftermath of the fire in March, which saw more than 20,000 people join the first organised protest by black British people, and the Brixton riots that followed in April.

Steve McQueen and James Rogan will both executive produce and direct the series, revealing how these three events intertwined and defined race relations for a generation.

BBC One releases Small Axe trailer marking 50 years since Mangrove Protest

Letitia Wright in Mangrove (credit: BBC)

From the Oscar-winning director Steve McQueen (12 Years a Slave), Mangrove follows the events which led to the arrest of nine innocent Black women and men for protesting against police brutality in Notting Hill in 1970, and the highly publicised trial which followed.

The group, who later became known as the Mangrove 9, were arrested and charged with incitement to riot: Frank Crichlow, Darcus Howe, Altheia Jones-leCointe, Barbara Beese, Rupert Boyce, Rhodan Gordon, Anthony Innis, Rothewell Kentish and Godfrey Millet.