Sunday, 29 May 2016

Theme Time : Lulu & The Lampshades (and Anna Kendrick) - Mum

Friday night is proving a good night for comedy right now. As well as Nick Hornby's adaptation of Love, Nina at 9:30 on BBC1, immediately after it on BBC2 at 10pm is Mum, the new sitcom by Him and Her creator Stefan Golaszewski.

Mum is a comedy about Cathy, a 59 year old mother who is experiencing a milestone year in her life, a year of new beginnings following the death of her husband. Lesley Manville stars as Cathy, joined by a fine ensemble including Peter Mullan as her long-standing, good natured friend Michael (who is clearly harbouring feelings for her but is too shy to say) Sam Swainsbury as her twenty-something son Jason, the hilarious Lisa McGrillis as his girlfriend, the dotty Kelly, and Ross Boatman and Dorothy Atkinson as the in-laws.

Golaszewski's obvious love for Mike Leigh style humour shines through Mum, not least in the casting of Leigh performers Manville and Atkinson. The dialogue is emphatically conversational and the quirky humour is borne out of that rather than events.

The theme tune is the traditional a capella Cups, first performed by the famed American folk music outfit The Carter Family in 1931 as When I'm Gone. Revived in 2009 by Lulu and the Lampshades for a viral internet video, a cup was used to provide percussion, thus lending it its alternate name

And in 2012 the song achieved new heights of popularity when performed by Anna Kendrick in the film Pitch Perfect and subsequently released as a single


  1. We love MUM - ever since Mike Leigh's ANOTHER YEAR I have been fascinated by Lesley Manville, maybe the latest Leigh muse, following on from Steadman, Staunton, Blethyn, Rushbrook etc.

  2. Glad to see the love, but only fair to point out that Manville and Leigh's working r'ship goes way, way back to the 70s with a collaborative rate that exceeds many of his muses already; the '79 radio play Too Much of a Good thing, the Play for Today Grown Ups, High Hopes, Secrets and Lies, Topsy Turvy, All or Nothing, Vera Drake, Another Year, Mister Turner and on stage with Leigh's Grief

  3. And she is now doing high profile stuff like that recent revival of Ibsen's GHOSTS and the BBC remake of THE GO-BETWEEN where again she was stunningly effective, as good as Margaret Leighton in the 1971 Losey film. An actress whose time has come.

  4. Brilliant understated funny sad comedy. Watching for the second time and it's actually even better!

    1. Definitely a show you won't tire off. Thanks for stopping by!