Dreaming Whilst Black – Review

Worth seeing: as a charming, enlightening, fresh and witty study of a black man trying to make it in the white world of film-making
Featuring:Adjani Salmon, Babirye Bukilwa, Dani Moseley, Demmy Ladipo, Jo Martin, Rachel Adedeji, Alexander Owen, Angus Wright, Isy Suttie, Jessica Hynes, Martina Laird, Meghan Treadway, Peter Serafinowicz, Riz Khan, Roger Griffiths, Steve Furst, Toby Williams, Tom Byrne, Tom Stourton, Tomi Ogunjobi, Will Hislop
Key crew:Jermain Julien, Joelle Mae David, Koby Adom, Sebastian Thiel, Gina Lyons, Nicola A Gregory, Adjani Salmon, Ali Hughes, Laura Seixas, Max Evans, Natasha Jatania, Yemi Oyefuwa
Channel:BBC iPlayer, BBC3
Length:22 minutes
Broadcast date:24th July 2023


Kwabena (Adjani Salmon) works in recruitment – but what he really wants to be doing is making films.

When he gets the opportunity to pitch his magnum opus to a respected producer, he’s torn between following his dream and the certainty of a job – a boring job with no future – but a boring job with no future which enables him to pay rent to his cousin, rather than move back in with his mother.


Adjani Salmon’s sitcom – which blossomed from the BAFTA-winning pilot episode first broadcast two years ago – has a simple premise, but at every opportunity, he finds a way to make it fresh and jump off the screen.

Whether it’s his social circle – his new love interest – his traditional Jamaican family – a friend who’s an assistant in a production company or his hapless – and loveless – colleague, Salmon manages to make everything from life’s everyday mundanities to the complex path to success feel vibrant, witty and above all – real.

The way he touches on the experiences of a black man in a largely white society is both humorous and profound as it highlights how even white people with the best of intentions can get it wrong – or just not get it at all – while black people can underestimate those white people who do get it right after all.

He also explores the idea – similarly considered in One Night In Miami – that however much you really want to stick to your principles, there’s no point if that means that your work won’t find an audience.

Some of the most revealing moments come from touching on the differences between Nigerian and Jamaican culture, demonstrating to wider audiences that diversity is far more than simply skin-colour.

From time to time, he employs a Sliding Doors-type “what-if” technique, showing the audience what a bolder Kwabena would do, adding another layer of authenticity to his world.

Producing an at-times laugh-out-loud sitcom, with likeable characters that works on various levels, whatever the future holds in store for his central character, Kwabena, Salmon himself has a good future ahead of him in the entertainment industry.