Noughts & Crosses

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What to expect

A thrilling adaptation of Malorie Blackman’s bestselling novel about young love in a dystopian world

Callum and Sephy have known each other since they were babies. His Mum used to work for hers as housekeeper, and they played together and became best friends. Then Callum’s mother lost her job, and they had to start meeting in secret. Because Callum is a Nought – a second class citizen – and Sephy a Cross, one of the elite. And Noughts and Crosses can’t mix…

In this segregated society, Noughts are nonentities – discriminated against, denigrated, denied decent education. But now Callum’s passed the entrance exams and been allowed into Sephy’s posh school. Surely this is his first step to a better life, one where he and Sephy can be together?

Only it doesn’t work out that way. Instead of acceptance, the couple face opposition, intimidation and violence. They know they’re made for each other – but the world keeps tearing them apart. And soon bigger things will prevail. Like the bombing…

Malorie Blackman’s groundbreaking book has won a host of awards and become a modern classic, with themes of racism and prejudice that still resonate today. This powerful, hard-hitting dramatisation was written by award-winning playwright Janice Okoh, and stars Zawe Ashton as Sephy, with Rikki Lawton as Callum.

Also included is a bonus episode of Word of Mouth, in which Malorie Blackman talks to Michael Rosen about her lifelong love of reading, the writing that has shaped her, and how she’s used language in her own influential work.

Cast
Sephy – Zawe Ashton
Callum – Rikki Lawton
Meggie/Jasmine – Adjoa Andoh
Ryan/Andrew Dorn – Carl Prekopp
Jude – Alex Lanipekun
Lynette/Sarah – Tracy Wiles
Kamal – Jude Akuwudike
Kelani Adams – Nikki Amuka Bird
Mr Pingule – Israel Oyelumade
Mr Stoll/Judge – Richard Pepple
Soanes/Sgt Collins – Gerard McDermott
Shania – Victoria Inez Hardy

Adapted by Janice Okoh
Director/Producer Marion Nancarrow

First broadcast BBC Radio 4, 25 February 2012

(p) 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd
© 2021 BBC Studios Distribution Ltd

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