Set in 1994 during a previous refugee wave, Tea Shop Asylum tells the story of Balkan asylum seeker Vlad.  He is living in Hastings with his brother and grandfather while awaiting naturalisation and trying to keep his head down when he gets a call;  someone important is coming from his former home and he urgently needs money to finance a mysterious and probably highly illegal debt of honour.  

The route to success, fuelled by ignorance and the paranoid logic of a war veteran, is a tortuously surreal and complex one and involves amongst other things, an illegal job in a psychiatric hospital, at least a dozen schizophrenics, a flirty therapist, a church art competition, a serially suicidal philosophy professor, a builder who wants to be an assassin and his very angry wife, smuggling a body on Easyjet, an

STATUS: Completed

TAGLINE: Make cake not war

GENRE: Dark Comedy

DIRECTOR: David Skynner

CAST: John Hannah, Joanna Lumley, Rad Lazar, Sarah Smart


LENGTH: 6 x 1 Hour TV Series

American Bison, war criminals, mock execution, exploding seagulls, two tons of dental amalgam and the partial demolition of a palatial home to remove a very large statue of Pontius Pilate needed to win a modest art prize.

At his moment of triumph though, Vlad is arrested on suspected terrorism charges, but later released, when it becomes clear they were not building a bomb factory, but a bakery to house and make peace with a former enemy, the greatest pastry chef the Balkans has ever seen.


Tea Shop Asylum is based largely on extraordinary truth and came close to production in a previous incarnation as a film supported by the Film Council and starring John Hannah, Joanna Lumley and Sarah Smart.  We now believe it’s potential can be more fully realised as a TV series.