Penny Rimbaud - as the wizard

A TRAILER FOR A BOOK set in Epping Forest featuring the founding member of an anarchist punk collective has been released.

The trailer cost just £50 to make as author Vincent Learoyd, 48, called on favours from friends in film production who offered to donate their time for free.

Vincent stars as the goblin with his actual daughter Laila and ex-wife who plays a priestess in the adaptation of his 85,000 word children’s fantasy novel.

The Laila Mythology is based on trips Vincent used to take with his daughter to a Warren Pond in Epping Forest, and an old oak tree which she used to climb inside which leads to another world in the novel.

The character of the wizard she meets is based on Penny Rimbaud, founding member of seminal anarcho-punk band Crass, who agreed to take part in exchange for some gardening from the author.

Since 1967, Dial House in Ongar Great Park, where Rimbaud resides, has been an open house for an international community of anarchists and home to the Crass collective.

Crass, the band, formed in 1977 and advocated a DIY punk ethic approach to produce albums and gig at left-wing fundraisers under the banner of Anarchist slogan “there is no authority but yourself”.

Rimbaud was allegedly investigated by the Metropolitan police vice squad for the blasphemous message of one of his penned singles “Reality Asylum” and Margaret Thatcher kept a file on him after he hoaxed a phone call between her and Ronald Reagan.

Official documents released last year showed the government held internal discussions about Crass when US media believed Raegan’s quotes in the ‘Thatchergate tape’ appeared to threaten a nuclear attack on Europe.

Crass coordinated squats and organised political action throughout the 1980s and members remain at the 16th century house today after it was purchased at auction leaving the self-sustaining collective £100,000 in debt.

Vincent, the author, often stayed there whilst playing bass in 1980s punk band DIRT, and said he was nervous to ask the “busy” Rimbaud to play the role.

He said: “He just looks like a wizard all I had to do was come over and put a robe on him.

“I was really nervous to ask him because he has been a big part of my life since I toured with Crass when I was 14.”

“He said yes straight away, he ad-libbed it in one take and my daughter was just in awe of him, his voice is fantastic.”

“If [the book] ever gets franchised I know how annoyed he would be if a figure of him ends up in a children’s McDonalds box.”

Vincent employed friends as extras as well as the Golden Eagle Archer re-enactment group on a break from a performance at the Royal Gunpowder Mills in Waltham Abbey.

Church scenes were filmed in Waltham Abbey “a place of Saxon mythology” as well as Epping Forest and Dial House.

Mr Learoyd, who played all the music, said: “It was filmed on the principle that if you don’t ask you don’t get.

“It was all about bringing talented people together if they think they are doing something worthwhile then they will often do it for free.

“The film has a ecological message but it’s not preachy.

“Humanity is the villain and it’s the goblins who are struggling to survive in the forest.”

The Laila Mythology has been read over 60,000 times on a Canadian sharing site and has attracted interest from film production companies including Elton John’s Rocket Pictures.

Barnaby Davis. 2015. “The Laila Mythology is set in Epping Forest and features a wizard inspired by Penny Rimbaud of Crass”, Guardian (Epping Forest), 7 January.