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Small Axe stars

7 December 2020

A former Westminster City School pupil and a current Westminster City School pupil can be seen in Steve McQueen’s acclaimed Small Axe film series.

On Sunday 29 November, BBC1 screened Red, White and Blue, which covers the story of trail-blazing black police officer, Leroy Logan, played by Star Wars actor and Westminster City School Old Boy John Boyega. After his father was assaulted by police officers, Logan was driven to join the force, hoping to change racist attitudes from within. However, he soon found himself facing both his father's disapproval and racism in the ranks. 

Red, White and Blue premiered at the 58th New York Film Festival last September, where it was well received by critics and fans alike. Boyega's performance was described by critics as one that “takes his career to the next level”.

Yet John Boyega is not Westminster City School’s only connection to Small Axe. Current Year 10 pupil, Roshawn, will appear in next Sunday’s final episode, Education, of the five-part series that charts defining moments in black British history. 

Like John Boyega before him, Roshawn has been acting for a number of years, alongside his school work. He explains: “I’ve done on a number of adverts, different shows and various musicals. One of my favourites was when I joined the Chorus in The Bodyguard, which toured the UK for six to seven months. It was a fantastic experience for me and a really wonderful show.”

Roshawn also greatly enjoyed taking part in Education, and had a small part in Mangrove, the first film in the Small Axe series. He said: “It was a wonderful experience that really pushed me outside of my comfort zone. It was also brilliant to be working alongside other black actors, who really understand the experiences we were exploring in both films.”

Roshawn’s face lights up when he talks about working with Oscar-winning director, Steve McQueen: “He was so funny, he would be completely serious when we were shooting scenes and then, once it was all over, we would all have such a laugh together!”

Education will be shown on BBC1 at 9pm on Sunday 13 December.

Photo credit: A P Wilding @apwildingphotography 

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