BBC acclaimed series Small Axe filmed at Hadley Stadium

18/11/2020
BBC acclaimed series Small Axe filmed at Hadley Stadium

Hadley Stadium will be appearing on your TV screens very soon as the centre hosted BBC filming of Small Axe last October. Small Axe is an anthology of hour-long stories conceived and written by Steve McQueen with Alastair Siddons and Courttia Newland.

The all-star British cast included John Boyega (Finn in the latest feature films in the Star Wars franchise) Letitia Wright (Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War), Malachi Kirby (Curfew, Black Mirror, Roots), Shaun Parkes (Lost In Space, Hooten & The Lady), Rochenda Sandall (Line Of Duty, Black Mirror: Bandersnatch), Alex Jennings (A Very English Scandal, Victoria) and Jack Lowden (The Long Song, Mary Queen Of Scots).

The 6x60' films tell five stories, with the first told across two episodes, and are set within London’s West Indian community from the late 1960s to the early 80s.

The title Small Axe is derived from a Jamaican proverb which has resonance throughout the Caribbean, “if you are the big tree, we are the small axe”. Small Axe is also the title of a Bob Marley song from The Wailers' 1973 album Burnin'. It means that relatively marginal or small voices of dissent can successfully challenge more powerful voices.

Steve McQueen was quoted on a BBC news release: “I felt these stories needed to be shared. I wanted to re-live, re-evaluate and investigate the journeys that my parents and the first generation of West Indians went on to deliver me here today calling myself a Black British person. What’s important about our stories is that they are local but at the same time global. I think audiences will identify with the trials, tribulations and joy of our characters as well as reflecting on the present environment in which we find ourselves. The dynamic nature of the series allows us to confront injustice in the face of adversity hence the proverb Small Axe, 'if you are the big tree, we are the small axe' (Bob Marley).”

There were five scenes filmed at the Hadley Stadium which have not been aired to date.

 Scene 1 & Scene 2: On the Athletics track

 Scene 3: Inside the Men's Locker Room - part of the Grandstand Building

 Scene 4 & 5: Inside the Top Gym (boxing ring).

 You can view the trailer here or watch more on the i-player