Fallout: The actor’s perspective

While it’s been a tad quiet on the DB blog and socnets of late, we haven’t gone away. The debate still goes on.

So, to today. First up, an adaptation of Roy William’s play Fallout hit C4 screens last week.

And here, Lanre Malaolu talks about what it was like to play Kwame, the victim of knife crime in the drama.

Kwame Abena: A boy who was always happy, a boy who was always positive, a boy who loved his friends and family, a boy who had burning ambition. A boy who had his life prematurely cut short after he was killed in a violent knife attack.
Yes, it’s true that Kwame was a fictional character but from this role shines a light of truth about societal problems in Britain today, with the growing problem of gun and knife crime among young people.

Kwame’s character is a reflection of the many young boys who have died on our streets and closely associated with the Stephen Lawrence and Damilola Taylor tragedies. You can probably understand from this the amount of pressure I felt playing such a powerful role. My character represents all the innocent boys that have died at the hands of young boys with knives. This meant that I had to capture the raw emotion and innocence of the character in those few minutes. If I failed to do this then the film would loose its emotional grip and power. However, in many ways I felt privileged to play such a powerful character. This is because I knew that it would be a challenge to capture the audience in such a short amount of time. I also knew that all the mothers out there would be looking on me to portray the happy and positive image of their lost son.

I think that a lack of hope, ambition, trust and love are the four main elements to why these young people go out with knives destroying other people’s lives. I’m sure there are many other reasons why I.e. the environment they have grown up in. But I truly feel that these elements are the foundation to all human beings and without them, problems start to arise. Most of these kids are scared; scared of not becoming something in their lives, scared of not gaining a sense of respect, scared of not fitting in. So turn to a life in which they can gain all of this by carrying a weapon and doing half as much as it takes for a person to do things the right way.

We need continue to battle this crisis but need to go about it in the right way. Random stop and searches and tighter laws on handling knives will work to a certain extent. However we need to make sure that we try and change their mentality. I think that is the key. We need to also nurture our young ones, trying to teach them the right ways while they still can learn. I personally think that Channel 4’s Fallout should have been put out as a feature film in cinemas around Britain. Fallout gained over one million viewers but I believe the messages in the film were so powerful and need to reach a wider audience. Cinema release would have been the best way to do this. If there is still a chance for this to be done I would be behind it 100%

It’s been a privilege to be involved in such an influential project.”

Lanre Malaolu


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