Air dates revealed for Steve McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ anthology with John Boyega and Letitia Wright-starring films

Five films about the West Indian experience in London will be shown by the BBC

The broadcast dates for Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology on the BBC have been revealed.

Mangrove, the first of five original films, will premiere on BBC One and iPlayer on November 15. Lovers Rock follows on November 22, Education on November 29, Alex Wheatle on December 6, and Red, White and Blue on December 13.

The films are set between the ’60s and mid-’80s, with each story centred on the experiences of London’s West Indian community “whose lives have been shaped by their own force of will, despite rampant racism and discrimination”.


Mangrove stars Black Panther‘s Letitia Wright and Line of Duty‘s Rochenda Sandall, while Star Wars‘ John Boyega leads Red, White and Blue.

“The seed of Small Axe was sown 11 years ago,” McQueen said in a statement (via Digital Spy). “Initially, I had conceived of it as a TV series, but I realised these stories had to stand alone as original films yet at the same time be part of a collective.

“The anthology, anchored in the West Indian experience in London, is a celebration of all that that community has succeeded in achieving against the odds.”

‘Mangrove’ airs on BBC One in November. Credit: Des Willie

He added: “Although all five films take place between the late ’60s and mid-’80s, they are just as much a comment on the present moment as they were then.


“They are about the past, yet they are very much concerned with the present. A commentary on where we were, where we are and where we want to go.”

Small Axe will air each film on a weekly basis starting from November 15 on BBC One and BBC iPlayer.