Mike Leigh’s Desert Island Discs

Here’s another in my series of Desert Island Discs. This week is Mike Leigh who was castaway on 21st September 1997 (the year of his underrated Career Girls). His choices can all be listened to here on Spotify. I chose to use the German version of ‘Mack the Knife’, though there is the US Original Cast Recording version available. Given that the music in Mike Leigh’s film is almost universally awful (besides Topsy-Turvy, which the first and last choices on this list looks forward to), I can continue to assume given his good taste here that it’s budget strictures that keep him using acoustic dross and drippy soul.

His choices were:

1. ‘So please you, sir’, from The Mikado (or, The Town of Titipu): W.S. Gilbert & Arthur Sullivan

2. ‘Mean Old Bedbug Blues’ by Bessie Smith

3. ‘Le Tourbillon’ from Jules et Jim: Jeanne Moreau

4. ‘Va, pensiero, sull’ali dorate (Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves)’ from Nabucco: Giuseppe Verdi

5. ‘Ballad of Mack the Knife’ from The Threepenny Opera: Kurt Weill

6. ‘Enigma Variations – Dorabella’: Sir Edward Elgar

7. ‘Clarinet Concerto in A major’: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

8. ‘The Long Day Closes’: Sir Arthur Sullivan

Mike’s choice for book was One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez and his luxury was a lavatory and lavatory paper. For those looking for a brief reminder on his views on good digestion, look no further.

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