A Touch of Eastern Promise 1973 – Tara Prem

A Touch of Eastern Promise 1973














I’m half Indian, so I was always very anxious to reflect what I saw when I went up to Birmingham.  I wrote a film called A Touch of Eastern Promise, because when I went there I realised there were loads and loads of Indian people, not probably as many as there are now, but nothing was being done about it, and there weren’t any writers.  So Barry was script editor, because I said I wanted to write something, so I did and that was the first thing on British television ever to have an entirely Asian cast.  So I felt very proud about that as well.  But that also spun on to other things.  Michael Abbensetts came and wrote Empire Road, which Peter [Ansorge] produced, and I do think that it was quite new then, but it was very, very apparent in Birmingham – it opened a door really.   In a way it’s what Peter and I are still kicking at the same door of thirty years later.  It’s a bit sad in a way. But it was rather good that we had that opportunity.  So those sort of things I do feel quite proud of.  I do think it kicked open a door.

Tara Prem

(Excerpt from an interview with Tara Prem recorded in summer 2009 by Vanessa Jackson and Olivia Swinscoe from Birmingham City University).

A Touch of Eastern Promise was recorded in Balsall Heath Birmingham.  Michael Lindsay-Hogg was the director, David Rose the producer, Barry Hanson the script editor, Tara Prem the writer.  Mike Williams was the cameraman and Oliver White the film editor.

The cast included Dev Sagoo as Mohan, a young Indian boy who dreams of film stars, and in particular ‘Shalini’, who is coming to perform in Birmingham.  Jamila Massey played Shalini, Zareen Kamal played Lata, K.S. Matharu played Balraj Kumari, and Charan Kaur Matharu – Mrs Kumari.