Mangrove - start date, cast and all you need to know about the BBC1 film

Mangrove Small Axe
(Image credit: BBC/McQueen Limited/Kieron McCarron)

Mangrove is part of the Small Axe collection of films

Mangrove is coming soon to BBC1 and is the first movie from Steven McQueen’s Small Axe collection of films.

The Small Axe collection comprises of Mangrove, Lovers Rock, Education, Alex Wheatle and Red, White and Blue.

Each of the films by the Oscar winning filmmaker are set from the late 1960s to the mid 1980s and tell a story involving London’s West Indian community.

Steve McQueen explains: “The seed of Small Axe was sown 11 years ago. Initially, I had conceived of it as a TV series, but I realised these stories had to stand alone as original films, yet at the same time be part of a collective. The anthology, anchored in the West Indian experience in London, is a celebration of all that that community has succeeded in achieving against the odds.

"Although all five films take place between the late 1960s and mid-80s, they are just as much a comment on the present moment as they were then. They are about the past, yet they are very much concerned with the present. A commentary on where we were, where we are and where we want to go.”

When is Mangrove on BBC1?

The BBC has now announced that Mangrove will premiere on BBC1 and BBC iPlayer on Sunday 15th November.

What happens in Mangrove?

Shaun Parkes as Frank in Mangrove

Shaun Parkes as Frank in Mangrove

Based on a true story, the film revolves around Frank Crichlow, the owner of Notting Hill’s Caribbean restaurant Mangrove. But in a reign of racist terror the restaurant is repeatedly raided by the police. Frank and the local community respond by mounting a peaceful protest in 1970.

But then nine men and women - including Frank and leader of the British Black Panther Movement Altheia Jones-LeCointe and activist Darcus Howe - are wrongly arrested. They are charged with incitement to riot and a highly publicised trial ensues, leading to a hard-fought win for those battling against discrimination.

MORE: BBC dramas 2020 – all the must-see TV shows to watch on iPlayer

Who’s in the cast?

Shaun Parkes (Lost in Space) stars as Frank Crichlow. Letitia Wright (Black Panther) plays Altheia Jones-LeCointe with Malachi Kirby as Darcus Howe. Other key cast include Rochenda Sandall (Line Of Duty), Jack Lowden (The Long Song), Sam Spruell (Snow White And The Huntsmen), Gershwyn Eustache (The Gentleman), Nathaniel Martello-White (Collateral), Richie Campbell (Liar), Jumayn Hunter (Les Miserables), and Gary Beadle (Summer Of Rockets).

Is there a trailer for Mangrove?

Yep and it looks enthralling...

Mangrove will be on BBC1 and iPlayer in November (see our TV Guide for more shows to enjoy).

David Hollingsworth

David is the What To Watch Editor and has over 20 years of experience in television journalism. He is currently writing about the latest television and film news for What To Watch.

Before working for What To Watch, David spent many years working for TV Times magazine, interviewing some of television's most famous stars including Hollywood actor Kiefer Sutherland, singer Lionel Richie and wildlife legend Sir David Attenborough. 

David started out as a writer for TV Times before becoming the title's deputy features editor and then features editor. During his time on TV Times, David also helped run the annual TV Times Awards. David is a huge Death in Paradise fan, although he's still failed to solve a case before the show's detective! He also loves James Bond and controversially thinks that Timothy Dalton was an excellent 007.

Other than watching and writing about telly, David loves playing cricket, going to the cinema, trying to improve his tennis and chasing about after his kids!