The Long Song

Confirmed for BBC One on 18 December at 9pm to 10pm

Ep 1/3

Tuesday 18 December



Set during the final days of slavery in 19th century Jamaica and adapted from the award-winning novel by Andrea Levy, The Long Song follows the trials, tribulations and survival of a wily, strong-willed slave July (Tamara Lawrance, pictured) on a plantation owned by her odious mistress Caroline Mortimer (Hayley Atwell).

July is born to a field slave Kitty (Sharon Duncan-Brewster) at the Amity sugar cane plantation, run by John Howarth (Leo Bill) and his younger sister Caroline. On a spoilt whim, Caroline decides she wants to train the adorable July as her personal maid. So, as a young girl, July is taken from her mother and forced to live in the great house. As July grows up and becomes a teenager, she learns how to ‘handle’ her mistress with her own small victories along the way.

The Christmas riots and the abolition of slavery turn the world of Amity upside down and throw July’s destiny into question. But when order is restored and a new overseer Robert Goodwin (Jack Lowden) arrives at Amity, July and Caroline are both intrigued by his seemingly revolutionary plans to improve the plantation. Could his ideals change everything?

Cast includes Tamara Lawrance as July, Hayley Atwell as Caroline Mortimer, Jack Lowden as Robert Goodwin, Sir Lenny Henry as Godfrey, Doña Croll as Old July, Sharon Duncan-Brewster as Kitty, Ayesha Antoine as Molly, Arinzé Kene as Thomas, Ansu Kabia as James Richards, Jordan Bolger as Nimrod, Joy Richardson as Miss Rose, Madeleine Mantock as Miss Clara and Leo Bill as John Howarth.

Pictured: July (Tamara Lawrance)