Vivian and I by Colin Bacon
‘Give me a fucking pre-med you fuckers, I’m a personal friend of Sir Lancelot Spratt.’ These words of frustration were the last to issue from Vivian’s wonderful classically-trained voice. Forcing himself upright on the hospital trolley, he saluted his friends before being wheeled into the operating theatre for the removal of his voice-box; a procedure he later dismissed flippantly as ‘getting a Jack Hawkins’. His final months would reveal a man of extreme courage, and a refusal to curb his excesses for anyone. Unable to swallow, he was forced to pump alcohol via a syringe directly into his stomach and spent his last few weeks propped up on Moroccan cushions listening to his beloved Elvis, refusing any nourishment other than dry sherry. - Colin Bacon
This remarkable memoir of the legendary Vivian Mackerrell, on whom the character Withnail in Bruce Robinson’s iconic film was largely based, is also an attempt to capture the essence of growing up as part of the ‘Baby Boom’ generation. It encompasses the half century from the end of the Second World War until the height of the ecstasy era.
Withnail and I (1987)
Now playing: Procol Harum - A Whiter Shade Of Pale