‘As I lay asleep in Italy, there came a voice from over the sea.’ The exiled romantic poet Shelley was horrified by the events of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, where 650 unarmed protesting civilians were seriously injured and 15 lost their lives, to the authorities.
The late great Celia Gregory stars as Mary Shelley in this thought-provoking and layered first short feature by British artist, Nick McCann, highlighting Shelley’s response to the events at Peterloo in his prophetic work, ‘The Mask of Anarchy’, alongside the gruesome events of his drowning and cremation on an Italian beach. The ghost of his wife, Mary Shelley, the author of ‘Frankenstein’ reflects on our conflicts and injustices in the modern world. The recipient of several international film awards, it was first broadcast on ITV in 1992; ‘A great looking film with plenty of bite’ – Melbourne Film Festival – the film was short-listed for the First Timers Awards in London.
Nick McCann (Writer, Director, Film Editor), reads Shelley’s works and Chris Ellis plays Edward John Trelawney who claims to have witnessed the cremation. RAF Marham GR1 Tornado Squadron performed the low flying sequences and most of the film was shot on North Norfolk’s stunning Holkham superbly by Richard Crafter. John Lunn (Downton Abbey), composed the epic music making this an emotional and visceral roller-coaster. Trailer Editor – Theo Leeds. © 1992 Anglia Television / ITV