A film that will have even the most cynical viewer reaching for their white handkerchiefs, MORRIS: A LIFE WITH BELLS ON is directed by Lucy Akhurst and stars Charles Thomas Oldham (who also wrote the screenplay) as Derecq Twist, along with Sir Derek Jacobi (The Golden Compass), Naomie Harris (Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End), Ian Hart (A Cock and Bull Story), Dominique Pinon (Delicatessen), Sophie Thompson (Eastenders) Harriet Walter (The Young Victoria), Aidan McArdle (The Duchess), and Greg Wise (Sense and Sensibility).
Described as This is Spinal Tap meets Calendar Girls, the film follows the fortunes of an avant-garde Morris team in their struggle to push the boundaries of the venerable, ancient dance. Set around the country pub The Travellers Staff, the docu-style comedy proves that Morris is not just an innocent pub pastime involving hanky-waving and bearded men with staffs, but also that it has its politics-laden, ultra-competitive side too.
The Millsham Morris men and their leader Derecq Twist are determined to achieve Morris perfection. But Derecq is also preparing to set the Morris world alight by performing the ultimate dance within the Morris firmament, the legendary Threeple Hammer Damson. As if this is not enough, he is in addition pioneering an innovative, daringly freeform brand of the dance dubbed “Extreme Morris,” drawing the anger of traditionalist elements within the Morris community. When Millsham unveil their creation in competition, the Morris Circle – the governing body of Morris in the UK – bans Derecq from future competition. Totally devastated by the decision, Derecq embarks on a global odyssey through tragedy and triumph, which gravely tests his passion for Morris.