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Faber & Faber, 1999 - Performing Arts - 139 pages
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In Topsy-Turvy Mike Leigh, that master of contemporary British tragi-comedy, transports us back to 1880s London and the lives of those much-loved masters of comic opera, Gilbert and Sullivan. Leigh explores the collaboration of lyricist Gilbert, a complex individual childlessly married to a devoted wife and composer Sullivan, a brothel-hopping bon viveur with an American mistress. Having enjoyed a stream of successes, they abruptly suffer an unprecedentedly lukewarm press for their newest opus, Princess Ida. Owing impresario D'Oyly Carte a hit, the increasingly frustrated Gilbert finds Sullivan's ideas increasingly far-fetched and 'topsy-turvy'. Then, Gilbert's wife lures him to a London exhibition of Japanese culture, and he perceives the inspiration for The Mikado.

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About the author (1999)

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). Secrets and Lies won the Palme d'Or at Cannes in 1996. Topsy-Turvy (1999) won two Oscars. All or Nothing followed in 2002. Since then he has made the Oscar-nominated Vera Drake (2004), which won the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Happy-Go-Lucky (2008) and Another Year (2010). He also did Two Thousand Years for the National Theatre in 2005.

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