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JIS News

‘Small Island’, the British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) much-anticipated adaptation of Andrea Levy’s award-winning novel of the same name, had its first screening before an exclusive audience in London England recently.
The adaptation, which will be broadcast as a two-part mini-series on BBC television this autumn, tells the stories of Jamaicans, who travelled to England during and after World War II and the British people with whom they interacted when they arrived.
The cast consists of British actors, many of whom are from West Indian families that migrated to the UK during the same period in which the story is set, and who had similar experiences to those of the characters.
The novel’s author, Andrea Levy, was born in London to Jamaican parents, who were among the wave of Jamaicans who migrated to Britain to help the rebuilding process after the War.
‘Small Island’, Levy’s fourth novel, takes its inspiration from the stories of the Jamaicans, who made the journey during those years and the challenges they faced when they found that the realities were extremely different from their expectations.
The novel, first published in 2004, was an enormous critical success, winning the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Whitbread Prize for Best Novel as well as the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.
Among the group in attendance at the screening held at the BBC Television Centre in West London were Levy; British Member of Parliament, Diane Abbott, whose parents are Jamaican immigrants; and Sam King and Arthur Torrington of the Windrush Foundation. The session involved a panel discussion with the filmmakers.
Further special screenings are being planned for the UK’s Black History Month, which is celebrated in October.
The producer of the series, Vicky Licorish, who is also of West Indian heritage told JIS London, “I am so proud of what we have achieved and hope that Andrea’s novel will be brought to an even wider audience through our BBC adaptation.”
Small Island will be shown on BBC One in October.

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