Here we go...we’re shooting the adaptation of Andrea Levy’s The Long Song, written by Sarah Williams and produced by Heyday Television and directed by Mahalia Belo.
‘Set during the final days of slavery in 19th century Jamaica, the story follows the strong-willed, young slave July (Tamara Lawrance) on a plantation owned by her odious mistress Caroline Mortimer (Atwell). When a charming new arrival to the island, Robert Goodwin (Jack Lowden), becomes the new overseer, July and Caroline are both intrigued by his seemingly revolutionary determination to improve the plantation for the slaves and mistress alike.
During a time of social unrest and turmoil, this powerful story is told from July’s perspective as she looks back over her life; the tone is funny, defiant and indomitable. It’s a story about the injustices that humans inflict upon each other and the unexpected ways in which people’s humanity sometimes overrules their prejudices.
Three hundred years of slavery finally came to a chaotic end on the British-ruled Caribbean island of Jamaica in 1838. It is a shameful and rarely-acknowledged part of British colonial history. And though Abolition may have been the first step on the road to racial equality, it is a very long road and one upon which we still travel today.
But far from being a harrowing tale of violence and misery that one might expect from such a history, The Long Song is in fact a story of love, hope, passion, survival and determination, full of insight and humour. The Long Song novel was shortlisted for the 2010 Man Booker Prize and longlisted for the 2010 Orange Prize. It was the recipient of the 2011 Walter Scott Prize’ #TheLongSong