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long song and small island

(24 Posts)
travelsafar Sat 22-Dec-18 08:01:42

I recently watched both these series and enjoyed them both. If i had to choose it would be The small Island I would pick as the best. The acting was brilliant and makes you think of the terrible injustice done to those poor people who came over from Jamaica to help 'the mother country' only to be treated in the most appalling manner, how disappointed they were was very apparent. The Long Song although it was interesting felt so far removed from nowadays i couldnt relate to it,not like i could with the Small Island. Any one else have opinions on these two progs???

Anja Sat 22-Dec-18 08:22:35

Only so Long Song so can’t offer a comparison, but did enjoy it. I’m especially pleased that there were substantial parts for black actors as they are underrepresented in many productions.

BlueBelle Sat 22-Dec-18 08:28:30

I absolutely love all Andrea Levy’s book and have read them all I was transfixed by The Long Song which was on for three nights recently I thought the casting and acting was wonderful Lenny Henry was really excellent (he looks worryingly thin though) I think her writing skills are superb
I loved the Long Song as a book and drama and find the historical facts so well researched and so interesting The ones set in Uk are so close to home for me
Did you watch the programme about her life called Imagine just so interesting I didn’t realise and was sorry to hear she has terminal cancer

TerriBull Sat 22-Dec-18 08:34:35

The Long Song is fresh in my mind, as I watched it over the 3 nights it was on this week, I thought it was excellent, July's story was very moving, particularly when she was removed from her mother on a whim and then finding history repeating itself when her lover spirited away their child to Britain. I do remember watching Small Island a while back, about the post war Windrush generation, if I remember rightly and the prejudice they encountered on their arrival here.

Luckygirl Sat 22-Dec-18 09:02:17

I have read The Long Song and was very impressed by it. I approached the TV adaptation with some trepidation as I did not think it could do justice to the book - how wrong I was. The character of July was brilliantly portrayed from the first moment of the action, when she was listening to her misstress yelling for her urgently and she was dawdling about with a satisfied twinkle in her eye - brilliantly done.

But, both in the book, and in the TV adaptation, I found it hard to see why the overseer's conscience was happier with marrying one person, but bedding another than it was about marrying a black woman.

BlueBelle Sat 22-Dec-18 09:15:05

But luckygirl you have no personal experience of the time and the way things had to seem There is NO way in that era he could have married a black slave and July knew that too this was his idea of a compromise there was the two complete no s going on, the race thing and the servant thing neither were even close to happening for decades and decades

TerriBull Sat 22-Dec-18 09:41:23

Yes I agree BlueBelle, sadly such a marriage would have been completely out of the question back in the mid 19th century.

On a slightly different note, we have, in my nearby town, an 18th century house, which has a blue plaque outside it denoting that this was the home of a wealthy merchant who was black, an unusual, but clearly not unknown situation back them.

Buffybee Sat 22-Dec-18 09:50:03

I recorded the series and watched over two evenings.
I haven't read the book but I loved the heroine Miss July, cheeky, bright and brave.
I actually had tears when she was reunited with her lovely son at the end.

merlotgran Sat 22-Dec-18 09:57:56

We really enjoyed it. The acting was brilliant and I do love a happy ending. smile

KatyK Sat 22-Dec-18 09:58:41

I watched The Long Song and loved it. We watched the Imagine programme about Andrea Levy which was fascinating. It is sad that she has cancer.

Luckygirl Sat 22-Dec-18 10:14:58

Yes - I understood the problem of marrying a black woman (although the visibly mixed race woman who popped up occasionally had married a white man) but morally the overseer was treating his real wife very cruelly - and setting up a situation where he planned to do this - and the impression given was that he was keen to be an upright and caring person. The two did not sit well.

Sparklefizz Sat 22-Dec-18 10:40:55

The books are brilliant, and like you Luckygirl I didn't think the TV adaptation would do The Long Song justice, but it did. I noticed Andrea Levy was on the production team and this probably made a difference. The acting of the 2 main female characters was excellent.... in fact, all the acting was excellent.

I know Lenny Henry's accent has been widely criticised. It's a pity they couldn't find a Jamaican actor to play that part because his name wasn't really necessary to "sell" the drama. He looks much older since he lost too much weight. It doesn't do a person any favours once they are over 50 (or so I tell myself grin )

Yes, the overseer was a complete hypocrite.

BlueBelle Sat 22-Dec-18 14:10:51

I didn’t know Lenny Henry’s accent was critised by whom He is Jamaican both his parents were Jamaican immigrants so although born in U.K. his would have been brought up completely within the Jamaican community

Sparklefizz Sat 22-Dec-18 14:15:21

BlueBelle But he speaks naturally with a British Midlands accent, so the TV critics said he was speaking a mix of Walsall-Jamaican.

BlueBelle Sat 22-Dec-18 14:18:26

Ahh I don’t see it Sparklefizz he sounded fine to my ears and I ve been round plenty of Jamacians I thought he played a good part He does look way too thin though aged and a scraggy better when he was a big guy

oldbatty Sat 22-Dec-18 14:22:54

I am in need of a distraction.....can anyone tell me is this drama upsetting? Although of course that is subjective.

FlexibleFriend Sat 22-Dec-18 14:28:21

I loved Small island when I read it years ago, was looking forward to the long song but tbh I really didn't rate it at all, thought it was very predictable and a bit disappointing.

Sparklefizz Sat 22-Dec-18 14:33:20

oldbatty I cry at many dramas but I didn't actually cry with The Long Song, if that is any help.

BlueBelle Personally I couldn't tell with Lenny Henry's accent as I am hopeless with accents so not qualified to judge. I only repeated what the TV critics said.

BlueBelle Sat 22-Dec-18 14:45:22

Ok Sparkle, critics eh Lenny parents were fresh over from JA and Lenny was first born so would have been round full on accent for his formative years, however long someone lives in a new environment they can usually drop straight back into their original accent
Oldbatty it’s a sad subject but a very well told story and no sadness or violence for the sake of it but if you re not wanting any story with a difficult subject matter only you can judge if you d be ok with it or not

KatyK Sat 22-Dec-18 17:14:09

Well TV critics were wrong if they said Lenny's accent was a mixture of Walsall and Jamaica. Lenny is from Dudley smile

Sparklefizz Sat 22-Dec-18 19:56:24


Fennel Sat 22-Dec-18 20:23:04

The book is very good too - eldest daughter bought it for me:

Labaik Mon 18-Feb-19 16:52:02

I've just caught up with this on catchup, and am loving it. I avoided it, I guess, because I was disappointed with the remake of Roots. Terribly sad to hear of the death of Andrea Levy, having watched an' Imagine' programme about her recently.

Jane43 Mon 18-Feb-19 23:26:34

The Imagine programme is on BBC 1 at the moment. It will probably be on the iPlayer from tomorrow. It’s called ‘Imagine - Andrea Levy: Her Island Story’