East of Ipswich (1987)

Michael Palin’s acclaimed, bittersweet ‘near autobiographical’ drama about a teenager’s first sexual experiences on a seaside family holiday.

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Michael Palin drew on his own memories of family holidays in grey, provincial seaside resorts when he wrote this acclaimed coming-of-age comedy set in the late 1950s, “the nearest I’ve come in fiction to the autobiography,” he says.

Sleepy Suffolk might suit his parents, but sitting in deckchairs and visiting local churches is not 17-year-old Richard’s idea of fun. Things improve, however, when he meets fellow teenager Edwin, who’s young, good-looking and girl-crazy.

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