Post People: Barking Mad show explores changing times on Colourful Radio

12:36 17 October 2016

Jacqueline Malcolm, right, with sisters Marva Gregorio De Souza, left, and Karol Malcolm Picture: Jacqueline Malcolm

Jacqueline Malcolm, right, with sisters Marva Gregorio De Souza, left, and Karol Malcolm Picture: Jacqueline Malcolm


Radio writer Jacqueline Malcolm, 48, speaks to Sebastian Murphy-Bates about Barking Mad, a ‘comic-drama’ exploring ambition and hardship

“The show’s about an interracial couple, Andy and Mercia, who bought a run-down hotel in Barking during the Olympics and are now struggling to keep it afloat.

“Desperate for money, Mercia goes behind Andy’s back to make a deal so the council can use it as emergency accommodation, so the show’s got a Fawlty Towers feel to it where everything goes wrong.

“I’ve been to Barking many times working with the Broadway Theatre. It’s one of those places that people say is up-and-coming but there are also people who don’t care about regeneration – they just need homes.

“When I first came to Barking I was like ‘where on earth am I?’ There were all these rich and poor people and different cultures jammed in together – it was the perfect place to set the show.

“My three sisters and I write it, we’ve always been creative and wanted to work on a sitcom about social issues affecting London. People here are trying to hold onto their identity while trying to make room for other cultures.

“That’s why Barking Mad centres on an interracial couple – it’s aboutdifferent cultures having to work together.

“I see London as the world coming together. Everybody’s being forced to work so closely together. It has to work or you don’t survive. When I was a child I’d never meet an upper class person simply because I’m black. But now we’re sitting next to each other in restaurants and the future of the working and middle classes seems uncertain.

“Barking’s going to see some big changes in the coming years but I think we’ve still got some time to celebrate its community for what it is while it’s still here.

“This community could disappear but I think it’s going to take a few years. We want to use those years to make some magic and celebrate the community.”

Barking Mad is on every Sunday at 12pm.

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