De Quincey, Opium and Confessions of an English Ant Eater: Grevel Lintop and Alex Crumbie

  • DATE

    28 March 2024

  • TIME

    6:00 pm to 7:00 pm

  • AGES

    All ages welcome




    The Portico Library
    57 Mosley St, Manchester, M2 3HY

A surreal short animation film about Thomas, a boy who becomes addicted to eating ants – despite the warnings of his parents. The film-maker and writer Alex Crumbie will be joined by poet and author Grevel Lindop, who has written a biography about De Quincey, to discuss the film, De Quincey and impact of addiction.

Narrated in verse, the work playfully explores themes such as childhood rebellion and addiction. The story was inspired by Thomas De Quincey’s ‘Confessions of an English Opium-Eater’. You can read more about the short story in a blog for the Portico Library here.

The film is accompanied by a moody folk-noir soundtrack, which brings together an eclectic ensemble of instruments including banjo, double bass, and flute.

It premiered on BBC Four and was selected for the following festivals:

– Hiroshima Animation Season, Japan, 2022, (Winner of the Arthur Binard Jury’s Pick Award)

– Encounters, UK, 2022

– British Shorts, Germany, 2022

– Animatiba, Brazil, 2022

– La Guarimba, Italy, 2023

– Fest Anča, Slovakia, 2023


Alex Crumbie is a Manchester-based director, artist, writer and musician. Confessions of an English Ant-Eater, which was originally published in chapbook form, is Alex’s first animated short film.

Alex has written and illustrated six short stories and poems, all of which are published by Team Trident Press (and are available on All his books have also been translated into Japanese and are currently on sale in several of Tokyo’s finest bookshops. He is also a writer and researcher at Ethical Consumer magazine and a member of Manchester-based band, Legs on Wheels.

Grevel Lintop is a poet and critic. He has been interested in Thomas De Quincey, ‘the English Opium-Eater’, essayist and friend of Wordsworth and Coleridge, since the 1970s. He wrote a biography of him, published in 1981 as The Opium-Eater: A Life of Thomas De Quincey. Later he edited his Confessions of an English Opium-Eater and Other Writings for the Oxford World’s Classics series in 1985, and later still piloted The Works of Thomas De Quincey, a 21-volume complete edition of his writings, produced by a team of eleven editors and published in 2000-03.