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‘Phoenix Rise’ Cast And Character Guide, Explained: Everything About The Casts

“Phoenix Rise” is the new BBC production, revolving around the lives of six youngsters who get excluded from the mainstream British education system, each due to their own difficult life circumstances, and have to now try and fit in together in a completely new one at their new school: “Phoenix Rise.”

The series was created by Perrie Balthazar and Matt Evans and contains 10 episodes, each with a runtime of 30 minutes. A refreshing show about teenagers, it is a mix of both an up-and-coming story about different people and a tale about friendship among people from totally different backgrounds and how they navigate this new school system while handling their personal trials and tribulations and ultimately finding themselves.

“Phoenix Rise” features some really good performances, and apart from the six main ones, even the supporting characters pack some serious talent. Let’s dive in and take a look at the cast and the characters they portray:

Spoilers Ahead

Lauren Corah As Summer

Lauren Corah plays Summer Bailey, a girl returning to school after dealing with mental health issues. She is suffocated by her semi-famous and overbearing mother and is trying to rise above her self-esteem issues, make new friends, and find a path for herself. This is Lauren’s first big television series. Apart from this, she has done two short films titled Jackson(2001) and Our Sister(2019).

Alex Draper As Billy

Alex Draper plays Billy Hopkins, a tough, young lad straight out of project-like areas of the West Midlands who gets burdened with the extra responsibility of providing for her younger sister Rhianna after their widower father bails out on them. Alex has a few credits to his name, most recently seen in the TV series Doctors (2021).

Jayden Hanley As Darcy

Jayden Hanley plays Darcy Trent, a privileged young fella who does some questionable things but, at the end of the day, has only the best intentions for his friends. He features as the third vertex of the love triangle, with Summer and Billy being the other two. Jayden was recently seen in the drama The Tale of the Fatherless (2021).

Krish Bassi As Khaled

Krish Bassi plays Khaled,the tech genius whose main worry is running into his old-time bully Nathan. Apart from running away from bullies, he passes his time by hacking into the school’s network and saving his friends at the very last minute. A classic sweetheart, Krish has debuted with the series and shows all the potential for upward growth from here on.

Tara Webb As Rani

Tara Webb plays Rani, the daughter of an immigrant family from Iraq who shies away from showing her true talent and looks up to her mother as a beacon of bravery and courage. With no single malicious bone in her entire being, she fits in with the crowd easily (as per her family’s request), sometimes a little bit too much to her own detriment. “Phoenix Rise” marks Tara’s debut.

Imogen Baker As Leila

Imogen Baker plays Leila, the youngest of the six misfits. A complete free spirit, Leila is sassy and marches to her own tune. Her best friend is Billy’s sister, and Leila fancies Billy, even though Billy is trying to get involved with Summer. Confident in her abilities as a singer, even though she is objectively wrong on the matter, she never backs down and continues spreading joy and helping out her friends in distress. Imogen is fantastic in the series, and “Phoenix Rise” marks the first chapter in a long line of projects that are going to come Imogen’s way in the future.

Tyler Fayose As Jamie Stewart

Tyler Fayose plays Jamie Stewart,the teacher responsible for heading the group of newcomer misfits in Phoenix Rising. He functions as a mentor, guide, and pillar of wisdom in the their lives. His responsibility to shape their future is immense. He slips at some points, but through some tough love, he gains everybody’s respect. Tyler was recently seen in the TV series  Riches(2022) and the TV movie Breathe(2021) as James.

Orla McDonagh As Rhianna

Orla McDonagh plays Rhianna, the understanding younger sister of Billy, and even though she is not part of the gang of six, she is very much a part of their lives. She cares for her brother immensely and has a firm belief that he will make it alright in the end. She is Leila’s best friend and likes to bring out the best in people.

Orla performs immaculately in the show, bringing Rhianna to life. Her performance might remind you of a young Chloe Grace Moretz. She is definitely one of the few talented kids to look out for in the future.

“Phoenix Rise” is a light and fun watch, but with its heart focused on the lives of teenagers in the education system, especially the ones struggling due to their circumstances. It navigates from perspective to perspective to show us the myriad sides of adolescence in all its flaws and hidden potential. Give it a watch; it is streaming on BBC iPlayer.


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