Small Axe: Lovers Rock

Small Axe: Lovers Rock

Series 1



This is bold programming for primetime BBC1, described in its own publicity as “an ode to the romantic reggae genre lovers rock”. An ode it may be, and thus across its 80 minutes’ running time uneventful and inconsequential, but this second film by Steve McQueen weaves a spell as he transports us to a house party — and it really is just a dance party in a big old house — in London’s Ladbroke Grove, 1980.
The focus falls on Martha (newcomer Amarah-Jae St Aubyn) and Franklyn (Micheal Ward, named Bafta’s Rising Star earlier this year), who dance and schmooze to Silly Game by Janet Kay (a No 2 chart hit in 1979). Lovers Rock becomes a surprisingly sensual experience and has mighty fine music, too.


Drama focusing on the romantic reggae genre and to the black youth who found freedom and love in its sound in London house parties, when they were unwelcome in white nightclubs. Drama by Courttia Newland and Steve McQueen, who also directed, starring Micheal Ward and Amarah-Jae St Aubyn.

Cast & Crew

Martha Amarah-Jae St Aubyn
Franklyn Micheal Ward
Patty Shaniqua Okwok
Clifton Kedar Williams-Stirling
Cynthia Ellis George
Reggie Francis Lovehall
Bammy Daniel Francis-Swaby
Samson Kadeem Ramsay
Parker B Alexander James-Blake
Grace Saffron Coomber
Director Steve McQueen
Executive Producer Tracey Scoffield
Executive Producer David Tanner
Executive Producer Steve McQueen
Producer Michael Elliott
Producer Anita Overland
Writer Steve McQueen
Writer Courttia Newland
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