NW stands for North West, specifically the postcodes of north-west London, the setting for Zadie Smith’s dreamy novel of city life, sensitively adapted here by Rachel Bennette. We’re not talking the literary zones of Hampstead or Camden, but the less glamorous Kilburn, where characters who grew up on the same council estate scatter and collide again in later life.

Leah (Phoebe Fox) is of Irish descent, married to Frenchman Michel. Her childhood friend Keisha (Nikki Amuka-Bird) is now a barrister and has renamed herself Natalie – it sounds whiter and posher. A bourgeois gap has opened between the pair that leads to tense dinner parties (“We’re only here for local colour”) and means Leah won’t confide in her old friend that she’s pregnant but can’t face starting a family.

That’s one thread of many in a drifting, tragic story full of chance encounters. Don’t expect standard-issue TV plotting, but for finely observed scenes of London and its tribes, this is hard to beat.


Friends Natalie and Leah grew up together in north-west London, but their adult lives have taken them in different directions. Natalie's wealth and ambition have set her apart from old friends and family and she finds herself asking not only who she really is, but where she belongs. Life is fragile In an area where wealth and poverty are only streets apart - as Natalie and Leah are about to find out. Drama based on Zadie Smith's novel, starring Nikki Amuka-Bird and Phoebe Fox.

Cast & Crew

Natalie Nikki Amuka-Bird
Leah Phoebe Fox
Nathan Richie Campbell
Felix O-T Fagbenle
Pauline Jane Brennan
Shar Rosalind Eleazar
Frank Jake Fairbrother
Michel Cyril Guei
Tyler Charles Mnene
Lloyd Victor Romero Evans
Theodora Lewis Lane Josette Simon
Guest 1 Hannah Bourne
Naomi Chloe Knight
Spike Nathan Knight
Karen Ashley Bannerman
Adina Rochelle Neil
Female swinger Laurence Sessou
Male swinger Rodney Charles
Doctor Nila Aalia
Grace Ronke Adekoluejo
Tom James MacCallum
Woman on Tube Janet Walker
Amit Bally Gill
Dinesh Ryan McKen
BMX Boy T'jean Uter-Dinh
Young Leah Serena Orsi-Dadomo
Young Keisha Temi Orelaja
Marcia Jo Martin
Polly Claudia Jolly
Johnnie Hampton Rowe James Richard Marshall
JJ Benjamin Hoetjes
Honey Gem Carmella
Director Saul Dibb
Dramatised By Rachel Bennette
Producer Betsan Morris Evans
Writer Zadie Smith
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