Free Screening Event – Sat 5 March

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Screening Schedule


Film info















On Saturday 5 March, Birmingham City University are holding a free screening event at the School of Art in Margaret Street, very near the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery.  The event is open to the public, and it would be great to see as many people there as possible, so please come along if you can.

We’ll be screening three BBC Pebble Mill dramas: Fellow Traveller, (the only TV film made at Pebble Mill) TX 1991, which will be introduced by Exec Producer Michael Wearing and writer Michael Eaton; A Box of Swan , starring Adrian Dunbar and Pete Postlethwaite, TX 1990; and A Touch of Eastern Promise, TX 1973, which will be introduced by writer Tara Prem and script editor Peter Ansorge.

There will also be the opportunity to see excerpts from a Philip Donnellan documentary made in Birmingham before the building of Pebble Mill: Joe the Chainsmith.




The schedule for the screenings is as follows:

11am-12pm and 2pm-3pm: ‘A Touch of Eastern Promise’ (1973) & ‘A Box of Swan’ (1990)

12pm-1pm: ‘Joe the Chainsmith’ (1958) & ‘A Story of Cradley Heath’ (2010)

1pm-2pm: ‘Made in Birmingham’ (2010).

3pm-4.30pm:            ‘Fellow Traveller’ (1991 )


I hope to see you at the event on Sat 5 March. For more information see this link:


‘A Box of Swan’ -photos by Willoughby Gullachsen

Adrian Dunbar (John)

Sandy Ratcliff, Pete Postlethwaite, Hilary Sesta, Adrian Dunbar

Photos by Willoughby Gullachsen, no reproduction without permission.

A Box of Swan was a ‘Debut on Two’ drama produced at Pebble Mill, transmitted on 9th Oct 1990 on BBC 2.  Alan David Price wrote the script, and  it was produced by Vicky Licorish and Philippa Giles, Diana Patrick was the director.

The BFI database describes the drama as a:

‘Play about a young man brought back to his roots by the death of his father, a road sweeper for 27 years. John moved to London to further his career as an architect, but his ambivalent feelings towards his family are brought to a head when he returns home for the funeral.’

The film starred Pete Postlethwaite as Tony, Adrian Dunbar as John, Hilary Sesta as Mother, Sandy Ratcliff as Patricia and Bryan Pringle as Father.

Thanks to Dave Bushell, who was the lighting director, for identifying the drama from the photos.  Dave remembers that there were six plays in all on ‘Debut on Two’, two filmed on location and four in Studio A. They were written by new writers with established actors. The locations for ‘Box of Swan’ included an Italian restaurant and a undertaker’s chapel-of-rest, in Bearwood, West Midlands.

The other ‘Debut on Two’ plays were  Kingdom Come, Widow of Vulnerability, The Wake, Breast is Best, and the Conversion of St Paul. They were a similar idea to the ‘Second City First’ series of studio dramas from the 1970s, which also featured new talent, and particularly new writers.