Mark Dexter (Peter Warlock/Philip Heseltine), Lucy Brown (Barbara Peache), Maimie McCoy (Puma) & Georgina Rich (Winifred Baker)
A film by Tony Britten
Usually despatched in 3 - 4 working days.
A film drama about the man who, by his death at 36, had composed some of the most perfect gems of English songwriting and elevated hedonism to an art form. Includes director /leading actor commentary. The present day:Two prospective members of the eccentric Peter Warlock Society have arrived at the Antelope, an old fashioned pub in Eaton terrace London.They are welcomed by members of the society, who introduce them to the story of Philip Heseltine - pen name Peter Warlock. We go back to the bohemian world of mid '20s England, riotous episodes where Warlock and cronies such as composers Jack Moeran and Lord Berners mix with artists of the magnitude of Augustus John and folk singer Harry Cox. Warlock's relationships with women are explored with specific reference to his long time girlfriend Barbara Peache, his exotic ex-wife Puma and spiritual soul mate Winifred Baker. As the roaring '20s race towards their conclusion, Warlock realises that he has to make an attempt to settle down and accept the reality that despite his undoubted genius, the musical elite will never welcome him. By 1930 he has largely ceased composing, and whilst remaining a monumental thorn in the side of the musical and literary establishment has ceased to be a creative force in his own right. As we come back to the present day the Chairman of the Peter Warlock Society describes Warlock's suicide to the new recruits - a loose gas tap, an open verdict and the loss of an extraordinary figure who rivalled Purcell as a composer, Shaw as a critic and who elevated hedonism to an art form. Shot on high definition entirely on location in England.
"Philip Heseltine's life and music has fascinated me for many years. As a boy treble, Bethlehem Down was a favourite, as a clumsy teenage conductor the first piece I ever attempted was the Capriol Suite. When I went on to study singing at the Royal College of Music I discovered the main body of Peter Warlock's work - the songs, which not only suited my voice, but convinced me that here was an English composer whose word settings put him on a par with Purcell and Benjamin Britten. It was later in life that I became aware of the Warlock 'legend', the beer drinking hedonist who held court at the Café Royal, was a serial womaniser and killed himself at the tragically young age of thirty six. As a filmmaker I am drawn to larger than life characters and as I researched more deeply I became convinced that Warlock's story would make a fine film drama, as much as it would be ill served by the documentary form." Tony Britten
“A sympathetic film that captures the wit and vitriol of a self-destructive soul. Mark Dexter as Warlock/Heseltine looks right and delivers a mesmerising characterisation that includes the self-destructive qualities that imperilled Warlock's career. The atmosphere of the 1920s is evoked with some magnificent vintage and trains; songs such as "Sleep", "The Fox" and "The Frostbound Wood"... are given sympathetic settings. ...overall this sensitive and imaginative film will make converts to Warlock...”