Morris: A Life With Bells On Review

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A Morris dancing newcomer tries to modernise this hyper-traditional/daft of all dances.


Hankies at the ready... but this isn’t a weepie, it’s a mockumentary about Morris dancers. Chief hanky-waver is Derecq Twist (newcomer and writer Charles Thomas Oldham), hoping to modernise the tradition, much to the distaste of a Morris bigwig.

That Derek Jacobi plays the Morris master is a huge relief: the bland leads are shown up by appearances from the likes of him, Ian Hart and Harriet Walter. It also spends too long setting the scene, only kicking into gear with a madcap trip to America. There’s an obvious affection for the characters, but the script simply isn’t sharp enough to do more than light parody.

The all-star British cast is pleasing but the script is not quite up to the talent on show.