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Meet the cast of new BBC One series Small Axe

The Steve McQueen anthology series has a star-studded line-up

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Jenni McKnight
US Lifestyle Editor
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If like us, you were glued to the first episode of the new BBC One anthology series Small Axe, then you'll be dying to know which famous faces will be starring in the next four instalments.

From Academy Award and Bafta-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen, each episode captures a pivotal moment from Black British history. Spanning three decades from the late 1960s to the mid-1980s, each episode tells a different story from London’s West Indian community.

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small axe© Photo: BBC

Small Axe airs on Sundays on BBC One

The first episode, Mangrove, aired on 15 November and starred Black Panther actress Letitia Wright, Shaun Parkes – who portrayed Captain Radic on Netflix sci-fi drama Lost in SpaceBlack Mirror star Malachi Kirby, and Line of Duty's Rochenda Sandall.

But with a new episode comes a new cast, so who else is starring in Small Axe? Keep reading to find out…

Who is in the cast of Small Axe?

Episode 2: Lovers Rock – Sunday 22 November                                        

Martha - Amarah-Jae St Aubyn

small axe martha

Amarah-Jae makes her screen debut in Lovers Rock

Amarah-Jae St Aubyn plays Martha in Lovers Rock, which tells a fictional story of young love at a Blues party in 1980. This marks her screen debut but she has appeared on stage in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.

Franklyn - Michael Ward

small axe michael ward

Michael Ward won Baftas EE Rising Star Award in 2020

Michael Ward plays Martha's love interest, Franklyn. The 25-year-old won the EE Rising Star Award at this year's BAFTAs in recognition of his work in Blue Story and Top Boy.

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Episode 3: Red, White and Blue – Sunday 29 November

Leroy Logan - John Boyega

small axe john boyega© Photo: BBC

John Boyega stars in Small Axe episode three

John Boyega portrays Leroy Logan, a young forensic scientist who quits his job to join the police force. The decision angers his father, who has been a victim of police brutality in the past. John is best known for his work in the third Star Wars trilogy where he played former Stormtrooper Finn. He has also starred in Pacific Rim: Uprising, Attack The Block, and Detroit.

Kenneth Logan - Steve Toussaint

small axe steve© Photo: BBC

Steve Toussaint plays the father of John Boyega's character

Steve Toussaint plays Leroy's disapproving father Kenneth. Steve recently played Charles on Idris Elba’s sitcom In The Long Run and has also appeared in Lewis, Broken News and Deep Water.

Gretl – Antonia Thomas

small axe gretl© Photo: BBC

Antonia Thomas' breakout role was in E4's Misfits

Antonia Thomas plays Gretl, Leroy’s girlfriend. Antonia's break-out role came on E4's Misfits where she played Alisha Daniels. She went on to star in the Netflix sitcom Lovesick and medical drama The Good Doctor.

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Episode 4: Alex Wheatle – Sunday 6 December

Alex Wheatle - Sheyi Cole

small axe alex wheatle© Photo: BBC

This is Sheyi Cole's first on-screen role

Sheyi Cole plays award-winning writer Alex Wheatle in this biopic of his younger years. The episode focuses on Alex finally finding a sense of community in Brixton, after a difficult childhood growing up in care homes. However, things take a dark turn during the Brixton Uprising of 1981, after which he was imprisoned.

This is Sheyi's first on-screen role. He secretly auditioned for Small Axe during his first year at Guildhall School of Music & Drama, where he is still studying.

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Episode 5: Education – Sunday 13 December

Kingsley Smith – Kenyah Sandy

small axe education© Photo: BBC

This is Kenyah Sandy's first on-screen role

Kenyah Sandy plays 12-year-old Kingsley who is sent to a school for those with 'special needs' after he is considered to be disruptive in class. Small Axe marks Kenyah's first on-screen role.

Agnes Smith - Sharlene Whyte

small axe sharlene whyte© Photo: BBC

Sharlene Whyte plays Agnes

Sharlene Whyte plays Kingsley's mother Agnes, who leads a fight to get her son the education he deserves. The actress has starred in Waterloo Road, Spooks and Jonathan Creek.

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