The British Broadcasting Corporation’s (BBC) adaptation of Andrea Levy’s award-winning Small Island had its first screening before an exclusive audience in London recently. The adaptation, which will be broadcast as a two-part mini-series on BBC television this autumn, tells the stories of Jamaicans who traveled to England during and after World War II. 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, is inspired by the stories of Jamaicans who made the journey during those years and the challenges they faced. 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.
Small Island will be shown on BBC One in October. It will also be shown in the United States in April 2010. See our post about the PBS presentation at PBS to broadcast Small Island in April