P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang

P'tang, Yang, Kipperbang
Directed by Michael Apted
Produced by David Puttnam
Chris Griffin
David Bill
Written by Jack Rosenthal
Starring John Albasiny
Abigail Cruttenden
Maurice Dee
Alison Steadman
Frances Ruffelle
Robert Urquhart
Music by David Earl
Cinematography Tony Pierce-Roberts
Edited by John Shirley
Release dates
  • 3 November 1982 (1982-11-03) (UK)
  • 20 April 1984 (1984-04-20) (U.S.)
Running time
80 minutes (UK)
85 minutes (U.S.)
Country United Kingdom
Language English

P'tang, Yang, 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 his First 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 movies such as Gorillas in the Mist and Chronicles of Narnia. 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.[1] 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) who 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 world will be like now the war is won. Among other things, Alan predicts 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 transpires 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 as 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.


  1. Eamonn McCusker (2007-09-10). "P'Tang Yang Kipperbang | DVD Video Review | Film @ The Digital Fix". The Digital Fix. Retrieved 2013-06-14.
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