Director: Mike Leigh
Cast includes: Alison Steadman, Roger Sloman
84Mins / 1976 / UK

An early masterpiece from Mike Leigh, Nuts in May is a filmed-for-TV adaptation of an earlier stage play. The cast is small, but the acting is impeccable, and the mix of wicked humour and social observation make this one of Leigh's best works.

Keith Pratt, a man who fully earns his surname due to his nit-picking obsessions with order and detail, takes his partner Candice-Marie, a well-meaning but irritating hippie, on a camping trip. There they meet Trevor, a shy teacher who finds their enforced friendship intrusive but is too polite to extricate himself, and a brash young couple of bikers, Honky and Finger, whose loud and chaotic personalities lead them into conflict with the repressed and dogmatic Keith. Leigh teases out the subtleties of human behaviour, with forensic skill in many unforgettable scenes. Funny and painful at the same time, like all Leigh's successes, Nuts in May is brilliantly acted, bringing to life the appalling but ultimately pitiable Keith, and Alison Steadman, whose portrayal of fey, goofy and tragi-comic Candice-Marie is every bit as memorable and nuanced as her more famous turn as Beverley in Abigail's Party.

All Tickets £10