Mike Leigh

The Kiss of Death

Faltering attempts at romance and a darkly funny melding of sex and death.

Image from The Kiss of Death

Play for Today, BBC 1977
Dir Mike Leigh
With Kay Adshead, Angela Curran, Clifford Kershaw, David Threlfall
70min

You might now give this story of a young undertaker in Oldham the subtitle ‘Four Funerals and a Wedding’. A blistering performance by David Threlfall lights up these intimations of mortality, with a delightful adolescent sexual jousting match, the poignancy of a cot death, grim humour in the mortuary, and a lovely score by Carl Davis.

+ The Permissive Society
Second City Firsts, BBC 1975. Dir Mike Leigh. With Rachel Davies, Bob Mason, Veronica Roberts. 30min
The Permissive Society was a TV studio recording, also set in Lancashire, on a Friday night of hostilities before the pub.