Daily Telegraph" 'Nobody gets more truthful performances from actors than Mike Leigh. The Times" 'The acting is superb. Guardian" ""'Leigh directs with sensitivity. Evening Standard" 'Extraordinarily poignant' "Independent on Sunday".
Born in Salford, Manchester, in 1943, Mike Leigh has developed a unique method of creating films through controlled improvisations. After his debut Bleak Moments (1971) he made a succession of admired TV plays, including Abigail's Party and Nuts in May. He then returned to feature films: High Hopes (1988), Life is Sweet (1990), Naked (1993).
Leigh is reunited on Grief with Lesley Manville – his most frequent collaborator – and with regulars Marion Bailey, Sam Kelly and Wendy Nottingham. Leigh worked with them variously on films including Who’s Who, Grown-Ups, Meantime, Secrets & Lies, Topsy-Turvy, Vera Drake and Another Year. BAFTA-winning actress Manville was most recently seen at the National Theatre in Her Naked Skin. This show has now closed, please visit our London Shows page for a full list of current productions.
War widow Dorothy lives in a London suburb with her 15-year-old daughter Victoria and her older bachelor brother Edwin. More and more isolated from her married friends with their successful children, Dorothy tries to cope with Victoria's increasingly hostile behaviour. But is she doing her best, as she thinks, or is she in fact responsible for what threatens to become an unendurable situation? SIMILAR SUBJECTS.
Mike Leigh OBE FRSL (born 20 February 1943) is an English writer and director of film and theatre. He studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) before honing his directing skills at East 15 Acting School and further at the Camberwell School of Art, the Central School of Art and Design and London Film School. He began as a theatre director and playwright in the mid-1960s.
There is, undeniably, a connection between Mike Leigh’s character-driven devising process and the superb performances which his actors go on to deliver; from Alison Steadman in Abigail’s Party to David Thewlis in Naked, there is a sense that development of the roles from within, rather than from a script, has contributed to the brilliant realism of the final product. Unfortunately in the case of Grief, impeccable acting seems to come at the price of a rather thin and ultimately predictable plot
Books by Mike Leigh, Smelling a rat, Ecstasy, Career girls, High Hopes, Smelling a Rat and Ecstasy, Secrets and lies, Smelling a rat ; & Ecstacy, Two Thousand Years. All Title Author Text Subject Lists Advanced.
Michael Billington: Mike Leigh's play doesn't disappoint in its exploration of the hermetic strangeness of English family life.
But, the play itself has been shrouded in secrecy - its title 'Grief' was only revealed two weeks ago and little else is known about it. Matthew will be hot-footing it back from the theatre to pass his verdict on it, along with Nightwaves' theatre critic Susannah Clapp . And now, if he is to be believed in his latest book, 'Pakistan, A Personal History', he is waiting in the wings to lead his country politically. He's electioneering on an anti corruption, anti war on terror ticket, lambasting the indiscriminate warfare that he believes America has brought to his beautiful country.