P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang

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P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang
P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang title card.png
Title card
Written byJack Rosenthal
Directed byMichael Apted
StarringJohn Albasiny
Abigail Cruttenden
Maurice Dee
Alison Steadman
Frances Ruffelle
Robert Urquhart
Music byDavid Earl
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
ProducersDavid Puttnam
Chris Griffin
David Bill
CinematographyTony Pierce-Roberts
EditorJohn Shirley
Running time80 minutes (UK)
85 minutes (U.S.)
Original release
  • 3 November 1982 (1982-11-03) (UK)
  • 20 April 1984 (1984-04-20) (U.S.)

P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang, also released as Kipperbang, is a British television film first shown on Channel 4 on its second night, 3 November 1982.

Written by Jack Rosenthal as part of the 1st Love series, it is a simple coming-of-age film set in a grammar school in the outer London suburbs of the late forties (1948). The film was directed by Michael Apted, known for the UK TV documentary series 7 Up as well as films including Gorillas in the Mist and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It is the story of Alan Duckworth (John Albasiny), a young cricket-obsessed boy, and his first kiss with Ann Lawton (Abigail Cruttenden). Alan's thoughts are voiced by real life BBC Radio cricket commentator John Arlott in the style of a match commentary. The title phrase comes from a password used by members of Alan's gang.[2] The film has a reputation as a minor cult classic, and still plays occasionally at the UK's BFI National Film Theatre.


Alan Duckworth (known as 'Quack Quack' to his friends) is a socially awkward fourteen-year-old who is obsessed with cricket and Ann Lawton, a girl in his class. Alan daydreams throughout his day, showing up late for school and making little academic progress. He becomes friends with the groundsman Tommy (Garry Cooper), whom he sees as some sort of 'war hero'. Alan often follows Tommy around, telling him how Tommy helped to win the war, while making predictions about what the post-war world will be like. Among other things, Alan predicts that there will be no more wars, everyone will speak Esperanto and everyone, regardless of race or creed, will have a Teasmade.

Miss Land (Alison Steadman), meanwhile, is worried she is pregnant with Tommy's baby, something that would result in her having to resign from her job as an English teacher. Tommy, however, is arrested and it is revealed that he deserted the war three weeks into his service, rather than fighting at Dunkirk, El Alamein, the Battle of the Bulge and in Burma, as he claimed.

While his friends are all interested in sex, which Alan refers to as 'the other thing', he is purely focused on kissing Ann Lawton. Ann, however, is not well regarded by Alan's friends, since she is very straight-laced. When Miss Land casts them together in the school play, Alan and Ann have to kiss.


Filming took place at Wimbledon Chase Primary School and in the surrounding area.

Box office[edit]

Goldcrest Films invested £378,000 in the film and received £749,000 earning them a profit of £371,000.[3]


  1. ^ "Back to the Future: The Fall and Rise of the British Film Industry in the 1980s - An Information Briefing" (PDF). British Film Institute. 2005. p. 28.
  2. ^ Eamonn McCusker (10 September 2007). "P'Tang Yang Kipperbang | DVD Video Review | Film @ The Digital Fix". The Digital Fix. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
  3. ^ Eberts, Jake; Illott, Terry (1990). My indecision is final. Faber and Faber. p. 657.

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