JIS News

Production has started on a BBC television adaptation of the best selling and multi award winning novel, ‘Small Island’, by British author of Jamaican heritage, Andrea Levy.
The novel, which traces the lives of a Jamaican couple and their families and friends from the 1940s in Jamaica, to migration to Britain after the second World War, touches on the themes of empire, prejudice and friendships.
The programme will be aired on BBC 1 television as part of its Autumn line- up. Much of the filming will be in Dublin and Belfast, but some 10 days will be spent filming in Jamaica at the end March to the beginning of April.
One of the producers, Vicky Licorish, told JIS News, that Jamaica of the 1930s and 1940s would be recreated.
She said it is very exciting, as it is bringing to life a very important part of both British and Caribbean history.
“It’s (the novel) the definitive work of that whole experience. It shows the links between the war and the migration from the Caribbean during that time. There is also the richness of the characters and the epic backdrop of Jamaica,” she said.
Ms. Licorish said the novel, which has sold more than one million copies, has universal appeal and spoke of a period that was the foundation of modern multi- cultural Britain.
She pointed out that Ruby Films, with AL Films and Northern Ireland Screen, are producing the television special for BBC. The cast include popular British actress, Naomie Harris, who appeared in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ and ’28 Days Later’; David Oyelowo, who was in ‘The Last King of Scotland’; Ruth Wilson, Benedict Cumberbatch and Nikki Amuka-Bird, from ‘The No.1 Ladies Detective Agency’.
Small Island was the winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year and Commonwealth Writers’ Prize awards in 2005. In addition, it was awarded the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2004, and Orange ‘Best of the Best’ prize in 2005.
Ms. Levy was the special guest at the 2005 Calabash Literary Festival, held in Treasure Beach, St. Elizabeth.

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