Black History Month 2020
The 1st October marks the start of Black History Month in the UK. At United Agents we support, promote and celebrate our Black clients’ work throughout the year – not just in October. We use this opportunity to reflect on the history of Black people working in our industry, the first Black British Authors, Actors, Directors and Writers who fought to be seen, to be heard, and paved the way for others. We acknowledge there is an opportunity within our company and our industry for discussion and learning, as we continue to strive for inclusivity and positive change. We take this moment to showcase some of our “Stars of Tomorrow” – our Black clients aged 30 and under, whose contribution to our cultural lives will – we believe – help to shape the future.
Jemel’s YouTube channel has over 270k subscribers and for the past two seasons he has presented Major League Baseball’s UK coverage.
Scottish actor Michael’s most recent theatre credits include a run at the Royal Shakespeare Company in King John and the new play The Whip, The Glass Menagerie at the Arcola Theatre and The Whip Hand at Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh. His television work includes the BBC Drama Trust Me, opposite Jodie Whittaker, Motherland and Horrible Histories alongside appearances in feature films Long Night At Blackstone and Disney’s Artemis Fowl, directed by Kenneth Branagh.
Victor is a recent LAMDA Graduate. You can see him in Michaela Coel's I May Destroy You on BBCiPlayer/HBO as Samson.
Tomisin’s multi-award winning shorts have been selected at over a hundred international film festivals. He was one of twelve filmmakers selected for the BFI’s Network at LFF and is currently developing two features.
Heather has been busy filming one of the leading roles, ‘Ndudi’ on the highly anticipated series The Power for Amazon Studios which is directed by Reed Morano. She is also a celebrated visual artist and South Bank Sky Arts Breakthrough Award Nominee 2018.
Brit school alumni Michael, having made his debut as a child in the feature Attack The Block, spent his teens developing his skills in a series of compelling stage roles, including Liberian Girl at the Royal Court, The Convert at The Gate Theatre and Br’er Cotton Theatre503. He won The Stage Award for his leading role in The Fisherman at the Edinburgh Festival/Arcola Theatre, and has recently wrapped on Edgar Wright’s much-anticipated new feature Last night in Soho - due for release in 2021.
Caleb’s debut novel Open Water will be published in February 2021 by Viking (UK) and Grove (US) and the dramatic rights have been optioned by Mam Tor/eOne. He is currently shortlisted for the BBC National Short Story Award 2020.
Shona is a member of the Clean Break programme, and most recently co-starred in Alice Birch's Blank at The Donmar Warehouse.
Denzel is a very exciting new signing from The Bristol Old Vic.
Tia performed in the two hander Seven Methods of Killing Kylie Jenner at the Royal Court to brilliant reviews (and for which the writer Jasmine Lee-Jones won the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright). Most recently she has filmed opposite George Clooney in his feature based on Lily Brooks-Dalton’s 2016 novel Good Morning, Midnight.
Stevie Basaula can currently be seen playing the regular role of Isaac Baptiste on Eastenders. Both an adept screen and stage performer, his previous credits include a run of Merry Wives of Windsor, Romeo & Juliet and Macbeth at the RSC along with Bulletproof S2 (Sky One) and the London BFI Film Festival selected short, Mandem.
Dipo’s debut play An Unfinished Man was due to premiere at The Yard Theatre in 2020, published by Faber & Faber. He is the Channel 4 playwright on attachment with Almeida Theatre and has two original TV series in development.
Ella is a young London film-maker and a Brit School, NFTS and Film London Microwave Alumni. Her crowd-funded graduation short, Last Leg won ‘Best Short’ at the London Independent Film Festival 2016 and broadcasted on London Live twice, in partnership with the BFI. Sore Thumb, Stick Out, premiered on Channel 4’s Random Acts Channel.
Ella recently directed DUST, made as part of a Barbara Broccoli, Michael G. Wilson, NFTS, Screen Skills and EON Productions initiative (NFTS DIRECTORS DIVERSITY WORKSHOP) which is currently touring the film festival circuit. She is a recipient of the John Brabourne Award 2019 and was recently selected as BFI NETWORK x BAFTA CREW 2019.
Dan graduated from the NFTS in 2019. He has been in the writers’ room for both series, and has written an episode for series two, of the BBC/Netflix thriller Get Even. He has been commissioned to write a screen adaptation of the DC Thomson comic The Amazing Mr. X for the Beano Studios. He is currently in the writers’ rooms for new series with Sky, Netflix and Wall to Wall and has an original idea in development with BBC Studios.
King is a very exciting new signing from LAMDA.
Babirye plays series regular ‘DS Dominique Parkes’ in acclaimed crime series We Hunt Together, and on stage recently played opposite Cate Blanchett in When We Have Sufficiently Tortured Each Other at The National Theatre. Babirye's debut play Blackbird Hour was nominated for the Bruntwood Prize and has been named a finalist in the Paines Plough Women’s Prize for Playwriting.
Raph is a regular on various stages across the country having recently appeared in The Tempest and Henry V at Shakespeare's Rose Theatre. Prior to that he was in Angus Jackson's highly successful production of Don Quixote with Rufus Hound and David Threlfall for the Royal Shakespeare Company, both in Stratford-upon-Avon and the West End.
Jim’s recent work includes the semi-regular role of Matthew Butler in ITV’s fifth series of Grantchester and Netflix’s hit The Witcher. In 2018 Jim was part of The Pappy Show’s BOYS which won the Vault Festival ‘Outstanding New Work’ award.
Sam is a very exciting new signing from LAMDA.
Ruby graduated from the Oxford School of Drama and has just completed filming on her first television role.
Indeyarna has been chosen as one of the "Digital Spy Rising: 30 Black, British Stars of Tomorrow". Known for playing Lola in Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie, Indeyarna has also recently appeared in Series 1 and 2 of Save Me (Sky) Deep Water (ITV).
Idris can be seen playing the role of ‘Saif’ in MotherFatherSon for the BBC, alongside Richard Gere and Helen McCrory. His other screen credits include ‘Keir Dempsey’ in Holby City, ‘Simon’ in Informer and ‘Sid’ in the feature film Kat And The Band. Idris trained at Identity Drama School and has since appeared on stage as ‘Yemi’ in Lash & Dash for Royal Court Youth Theatre and Eternal Ages at Shaw Theatre.
On graduating from drama school in 2018, Michael secured the series regular role of PC Terry Foster in Queens of Mystery (Acorn). He has already built up an impressive CV having appeared in The Visit at the National Theatre alongside Lesley Manville and Hugo Weaving, performed 3 hander in a word at the Young Vic and played Lysander in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. He most recently appeared in 846 Live in association with Theatre Royal Stratford East.
Tula is a Presenter, comedian and reality queen.
Rakaya won the Spread the Word Poetry Prize in 2017 and the Roundhouse Poetry Slam in 2018. As a Roundhouse Resident Artist she wrote and produced a monodrama entitled Unbraided, and she is currently writing her debut novel.
Otamere is a multidisciplinary writer and columnist whose work explores desire, queerness, art, race, love, and pop culture—how these things constellate and complicate each other refracted through the flowery, sentimental lens of someone who is at all times desirous of all things and all people. He writes for a number of publications, including i-D and GQ, and is working on his first book.
Elèna graduated from Urdang this summer and is a gifted actor, singer and dancer.
Just 20 years old, British-Somali actor Asha is from East London and is already making an impact on the industry, appearing in the critically acclaimed feature film Rocks directed by Sarah Gavron, currently playing in cinemas and coming soon to Netflix. An Alumni of Open Door, Asha has appeared on stage in Extremism at Theatre Peckham and most recently in the two-hander Cuttin' It at the Manchester Royal Exchange.
Aaron is currently shooting Series 3 of hit TV show for Sky, Brassic, in which he plays the much-loved regular character 'Ashley' alongside Joe Gilgun and Michelle Keegan, and also stars in the adaptation of War of The Worlds for Fox International and Canal Plus, currently shooting its second season. Aaron has been a regular in critically acclaimed shows at the National and the Globe Theatre, as well as raking up other incredible screen credits in Star Wars spin-off Solo: A Star Wars Story and The Titan for Netflix.
Tiwalade graduated from the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, and has recently finished at the National Youth Theatre in London. In addition to her acting, Tiwalade is a playwright, having written two plays (Rush, E-VER-RY-DAY)
Shareefa J is a London based presenter and plus size model who is at the forefront of promoting body/race diversity and mental health awareness within fashion and advertising.
Selina is an exciting new Graduate from LAMDA and has recently completed a short film for Jack Studio Theatre.
Linford Trained at Mountview and will be on your screens soon in Emmerdale as 'Tom.' His credits include Glee Club, Pinocchio at the National Theatre, War Horse (UK and International Tour) and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Bridge Theatre).
David plays a leading role in the upcoming HBO series Industry from Bad Wolf Entertainment, to be released this November, with Lena Dunham as lead director and produced by Jane Tranter. David is also soon to take on the leading role in the upcoming Almeida production Daddy, to be directed by Danya Taymor, written by Jeremy O. Harris, adapted from the Broadway production.
Cora has recently completed filming on her first feature, The Devil’s Light for Lionsgate. She also appeared in Emelia in the West End. Her other credits include Sally Cookson’s productions of A Monster Calls, Peter Pan and The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe.
Robinah stars in Jimmy McGovern’s latest BBC drama Anthony, available to watch on iPlayer. Previous credits include ITV’s The Widow opposite Kate Beckinsale and series 1 of Amazon’s Carnival Row.
Most recently seen as Jud Fry in Oklahoma! at Chichester theatre, Emmanuel is an activist and actor, who is currently spearheading Equity's campaign against racist reviews. His credits include Curio in Twelfth Night (National Theatre) and Joe in Show Boat in the West End. He has been nominated twice for a UK Theatre Award.
Joseph trained at Mountview. His recent credits included Equus at the Trafalgar Studios where he was the understudy for the leading role of Alan Strang and prior to this he starred in Harper Regan for the Tabard Theatre. Before Covid-19 he was due to perform in Jamie Lloyd’s production of The Seagull understudying the roles of Konstantin, Trigorin and Medvedenko.
Georgina is a journalist and speaker. Raceless, Georgina's first book, is both the compelling personal account of a young women seeking her own story amid devastating family secrets, and a fascinating, challenging and essential examination of racial identity in modern Britain. It will be published in the UK and US in Feb 2021.
Samara is a qualified medical doctor, but her love for storytelling led her to freelance as a journalist and editor. After co-editing The Colour of Madness, an anthology exploring BAME mental health in the UK, Samara decided to explore new media through which to share unheard stories. Samara currently works at BBC Three as a Production Trainee, and is the co-author of Diane Abbott: The Authorised Biography with Robin Bunce
Khalil shot the leading role in Amazon’s pilot The Dark Tower. At 14, Khalil won a children’s BAFTA for his performance in the 4 O’Clock Club. He is a graduate of Central St Martins with a degree in music.
Emma has appeared in the feature Landfill, Get Luke Lowe and the short film Here We Are. She has starred in a number of theatre productions for the Watermill Theatre and most recently performing the role of Lady Macbeth in Macbeth, previous credits include Anna Lamb in Sweet Science of Bruising at Wilton’s Music Hall, Much Ado About Nothing at Iris Theatre, Pride and Prejudice at The Crucible, Sheffield and Tribes in The Nottingham New Theatre.
Olivia is a very exciting new signing and recent LAMDA graduate. She is a native Northerner and has just booked a lovely guest role in a longstanding returning series.
Roger could most recently be seen performing in Yael Farber's production of Blood Wedding at the Young Vic. Previously he played the leading role of Dadir in critically acclaimed The Informer for the BBC, from executive producer Sam Mendes.
Tachia’s recent theatre credits include Light Falls and Mother Courage And Her Children at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre as well as the critically-acclaimed production of Sylvia at the Old Vic, for which he also helped write and develop material. On screen, he has been seen in shows such as Silent Witness, Vera and as a regular in Waterloo Road as well as the feature film Dirty God which opened Rotterdam Film Festival in 2019 before playing at Sundance Film Festival, to great reviews.
Ken starred as the lead ‘Thomas’ in ITV 3 part drama Sticks and Stones written by Mike Bartlett, and you can watch him currently as ‘Ristridin’ in Netflix series The Letter for the King. In 2018, Ken’s performance in An Octoroon at the Orange Tree and National Theatre saw him win the Off West End Award for Best Male in a Play.
Mary O'Connell is an up and coming writer and comedian. Mary was longlisted in the Thousand Films Female Writing Competition, a runner up at the most recent Funny Women awards and is currently being mentored by Tim Reid after getting into the comedy mentorship scheme run by Andy Riley for POC.
Kwami recently starred in Inua Ellam's hit two-hander The Half God of Rainfall at the Kiln Theatre following its transfer after a run at the Birmingham Rep - which earned a win for Best Production of a Play at the Black British Theatre Awards and a nomination for Kwami for Best Male Actor. Kwami trained with the National Youth Theatre's Rep Company and has since gone on to star in productions at the National, the Royal Exchange and the RSC, as well as shoot roles for Starz's The Rook and The Athena for Sky.
Faith was named one of the Evening Standard's 'Ones to Watch' and has hopped from leading role to leading role at the UK's most exciting theatres - namely the sparkling Mable Chiltern in An Ideal Husband at the Vaudeville Theatre, and as Joy in Sheffield Theatre's hit production of Standing at the Sky's Edge. Faith has just been cast in her first big TV role in a currently confidential project for Channel 4.
Emma is an up and coming EAST 15 graduate. She most recently appeared in Kay Mellor’s Band Of Gold at Leeds Grand Theatre opposite Laurie Brett and Gaynor Faye.
Joshua graduated from BRIT School and has most recently been seen in feature film Summerland, directed by Jessica Swale and starting alongside Gemma Arterton and Gugu Mbatha Raw. Other credits include Netflix's Safe and on stage RICHARD III at the Almeida, directed by Rupert Goold.
Taylor-Dior Rumble started her journalism career at BBC News at the age of 18 and has since gone on to produce and cover stories ranging from the politics of Black hair to colourism in Hollywood. She is currently writing her first novel.
Zambia born Geordie, Kema is a rapper as well as an actor and writer whose first professional job was in Ken Loach’s I Daniel Blake. His one-man play Shine sold out its run at Live Theatre Newcastle and the Traverse Edinburgh in 2019 to critical acclaim, and he’s currently developing it for TV.
Romario trained at ALRA and earlier this year made his professional stage debut in Syndrome at the Tristan Bates Theatre, a play about PTSD in soldiers following the Gulf War. His recent television credits include Timewasters for ITV, the incredible BBC adaptation of Noughts & Crosses and the upcoming BBC film Lovers Rock, directed by the inimitable Steve McQueen.
Ella-Rae has gained a cult following for her work on shows such as Into The Badlands, The Witcher and most recently, Harlan Coben’s thriller The Stranger for Netflix. Her film work includes The Commute, opposite Liam Neeson, and the upcoming features Séance and Sweetheart. She is also a recognisable face in the fashion world and has modelled for brands such as BOSS and Rimmel, for which she was the front of a recent mascara campaign.
Noah landed the title role of Jamie in Everyone’s Talking About Jamie in the West End, before graduating Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts.
Alex most recently played Standby Evan and Jared in the original West End cast of Dear Evan Hansen. Next up he is playing Angel in a much anticipated, socially distanced production of Rent at Hope Mill Theatre, directed by award winning Luke Sheppard.
Obioma appeared as George Washington in the widely acclaimed Olivier award-winning original West End Production of Hamilton, and will next be seen on stage as Kristoff in the inaugural West End production of Frozen. He also portrayed Smokey Robinson in MOTOWN. His Television credits include Britannia for Sky and TBS's Miracle Workers: Dark Ages.
With a CV that spans Theatre, Film, Drama and Comedy, Danielle is currently filming the feature Ear For Eye for BBC Films. She can be seen playing 'Young Arabella' in I May Destroy You for BBC/HBO, stars in A Windrush Chronicle for BBC4 and The Old Vic which was nominated for a BAFTA this year and her theatre credits include The Royal Court’s groundbreaking two-hander Seven Methods Of Killing Kylie Jenner which was nominated for an Olivier.
A graduate of the NYT and LAMDA, his debut play The Canary & The Crow, which he both starred in and wrote, opened to a sell-out and critically acclaimed run at last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, and subsequently won him both the Brighton Fringe First Award for Excellence and the WGGB Award for Best Play for Young Audiences. He has since taken part in the Theatre Centre/Theatre 503 digital writer platform ImagiNationduring lockdown, is about to start developing The Canary & The Crow as a TV series.
Ozioma is an exciting LAMDA Graduate.