Domino Day stars on explosive queer moment in witchy BBC drama: ‘It’s really rare’

Maimuna Menon and babirye bukilwa talk queer moment in episode five.

Domino Day stars babirye bukilwa and Maimuna Memon have spoken about why one scene in episode five of the BBC fantasy series is important for queer women everywhere.

Warning: Spoilers for episode five of Domino Day ahead.

Released today (31 January), Domino Day, from BAFTA-nominated screenwriter Lauren Sequeira, follows a Mancunian witches’ coven battling other supernatural forces after Domino (played by Siena Kelly) displays deadly powers beyond her control.

Among the coven is aura-seeing witch Sammie (Dreaming Whilst Black star bukilwa), who must balance her universe-shaping hidden powers against her romantic spark with local (completely human) bartender Vedita (Memon), who remains blissfully unaware of the threat brewing on her doorstep.

babirye bukilwa plays sapphic witch Sammie in Domino Day.
babirye bukilwa plays sapphic witch Sammie in BBC drama Domino Day. (BBC/Dancing Ledge Productions/Ben Gregory-Ring)

During episode five, Sammie finds herself in the local cafe where Domino and Vedita met as co-workers and became friends. After spending a few idyllic hours bonding, the tension between the smitten duo reaches a crescendo and they share a steamy kiss.

“Me and the babs [babirye] connected on the read-through [where] I was super nervous,” Memon tells PinkNews. “All I knew [about the plot] is that there was a spark between our two characters.”

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This was the first time Olivier-nominated star Memon has worked with an intimacy coach, but it is increasingly becoming industry practice.

“I’ve had a lot of experiences in the industry where I’ve felt unsafe and this was the complete opposite of that,” Memon says.

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Maimuna Memon in Domino Day
Maimuna Memon in Domino Day.(BBC/Dancing Ledge Productions)

“We just connected on a human level. When we were doing an intimate session, it was a few hours, not more than that. We had several sessions with choreography. There was a conversation about what felt safe, what felt right.

“But also we really embraced queer romance. It’s rare to see that kind of scene on screen, especially in England, between two women of colour. It’s really refreshing.”

It’s a poignant moment of sapphic joy on a mainstream TV, championing queer talent on and off the screen from writer Sequeira to co-director Nadira Amrani and the queer musician playing in the background.

Nadira (L), Maimuna, Babiyre and Lauren (R).
From left: co-director Nadira Amrani, stars Maimuna Memon and babirye bukilwa, and writer Lauren Sequeira. (Supplied)

“I think all the queer people [on set] were just like: ‘Let’s do it for the gays’,” bukilwa adds. “We wanted to make it look beautiful, to be sexy and real. We really were like: ‘What do these characters want? What does the kiss mean?’

“Everybody on set on that day was very much like: ‘OK, this is important’.”

Ultimately it was Sequeira who fought to keep the scene with cuts requested by editors and the script being drafted and re-drafted.

“Every writer has scenes in [a] show [they want to] protect and this was one of those,” Sequeira says. “It was important for me to be there on that day, it just felt special that we were all here doing this for representation. That was one of my best days on set.”

Domino Day premieres at 9pm on BBC Three on 31 January and will be available to watch on BBC iPlayer.

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