Dreaming Whilst Black stars and is co-written by Adjani Salmon as Kwabena, who works in recruitment, but dreams of being a hot-shot screenwriter, who gets to pitch to a new production company, early on, but it doesn’t quite go to plan, and those opportunities don’t come around too often, finding that for some places, he can’t get them to read his film script, because read, they don’t take unsolicited scripts.
I kinda know that feeling. I once submitted a script for a 30-minute drama for the BBC Writers Room when that was still going. It wasn’t chosen, but I’d basically adapted a fan script I’d written which I wish could be turned into an episode of Doctors (and took out any such references). Sadly, Doctors don’t take unsolicited scripts, even though you’d think they’d be open to new scripts, given the amount of episodes they have to pump out.
With a little help from one of his friends, he might just get that chance, but it’ll require an indelicate balance between staying to complete the day job, or finding a way to still pitch his film to the bigwigs. Can he do it? That’s what you’ll find out by watching it.
There’s bits of daft humour, such as when he has to go to a particular meeting room and is told by the person directing him whilst looking parallel to Kwabena, “It’s second on my left”, causing Kwabena to reply, “We have the same left(!)”.
However, he has colleagues which clearly have some sort of race and/or colour issue, and such situations feel like they’re just shoehorned in without any major reason, or that there’s an agenda to address. One such example is a while male colleague doesn’t know how to entertain a new date who is black, so thinks he has to virtue signal by making colour a factor. I just wanted a straight comedy/drama. Don’t overcomplicate things. It makes them stick out a mile.
Overall, Dreaming Whilst Black gives gentle laughs, not big laughs, although it’s more a comedy/drama. It’s quite entertaining, though, and I’d check out more if a full series was made.
Dreaming Whilst Black is a one-off programme on BBC1 on Monday April 26th at 11.10pm. The series isn’t yet available to be released on Blu-ray and DVD, but you can watch it now on the BBC iPlayer.
It’s also based on Salmon’s 9-part mini series from 2018, and you can see a trailer for that below, as there’s no trailer online for the new version.
Director: Sebastian Thiel
Producer: Gina Lyons
Writers: Ali Hughes, Adjani Salmon
Creators: Adjani Salmon, Maximilian Evans, Natasha Jatania, Laura Seixas
Kwabena: Adjani Salmon
Amy: Dani Moseley
Jamie: Tom Stourton
Adam: Alexander Owen
Lewis: Will Hislop
Vicky: Meghan Treadway
Tom: Toby Williams
Vanessa: Babirye Bukilwa
Nathan: Tom Byrne
Judge: Choy-Ling Man
Assistant: Molly Jackson-Shaw
Barman: Ali Hughes
Maurice: Demmy Ladipo
Funmi: Rachel Adedeji
Old dear: Stephanie Fayerman
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.