Now that we all have a phone in our pocket, the traditional bright red phone box has become obsolete, though some are still in service around the county as libraries, information centres, defibrillator locations, and now they take a starring role in a series of micro films from Feral Productions.

The Courtyard commissioned the series of digital vignettes from Feral Productions exploring the stories connected with local telephone boxes.

The project, named Last Call, was conceptualised during a meeting between Feral Productions' artistic director, Estelle van Warmelo (who also directs The Courtyard’s annual pantomimes) and Shropshire based poet, Jean Atkin when Jean was discussing her passion for the traditional, British telephone box.

She had been photographing them for years and was keen to expand the creative playing field, and Estelle saw an opportunity for a collaboration. The Courtyard was pleased to commission the project for creation as digital content for its audiences.

Estelle and Jean began to explore the history behind a selection of local telephone boxes and uncovered a rich assortment of stories from the public.

“We were struck by how much meaning they carried, these icons of a bygone age, how much significance,” Estelle said, “We began to mull over what was being lost as they sat in their varying states of obsolescence, how the value of contact was diminishing without the driven need for another 10p when the pips came – in order to book that taxi, complete a declaration of love, phone home… All those moments! All those stories! As we shared our experiences on social media, a dam burst – everybody had a phone box story and everybody wanted to tell us theirs.

"There is a notable relevance in exploring the themes and stories surrounding old red telephone boxes during a time of enforced separation and isolation. Just as technology has served to retain human connections during the Covid-19 pandemic, telephone boxes have provided the same lifeline for so many isolated people over the years."

After months of reconnaissance, Jean developed a series of poems which were transformed into a collection of short films, which are now available to watch for free on The Courtyard’s website.

Working alongside Feral on the Last Call project was Ivor Novello award winning composer and musician Sophie Cooper, a sound artist whose practice focusses on new presentations of acoustic instrumentation with electronics, experimental composition, text placement and performance.

Also involved in the production of Last Call was Open Sky director Lisle Turner, cinematographer Kie Cummings and designer Carl Davies.

See the Last Call films for free at