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Desert island skits: how Kirsty Young inspired Joseph Morpurgo's surreal comedy

13th October 2015

Grace Jones’s Private Life is throbbing out of the speakers in the back-room at Lucky Seven, a cramped and musty-smelling cave of vinyl and VHS in north London. Rifling through the cut-price racks, the comedian Joseph Morpurgo is on the look-out for records that are markedly less cool: ones that never enjoyed pride of place at the front of anyone’s collection. He pulls out a sleeve showing a marching band (“You find so many of these”) and another on which the actor Howard Keel simpers next to a rose (“This one’s a keeper!”). “One assumes they were snapshots of a generation’s taste but they must also be snapshots of stuff that fell out of vogue and became embarrassing. They’re homeless children: they were made and then people didn’t want them any more.”

We have undertaken this lunchtime record-shopping spree so that Morpurgo can explain the process behind the densely funny and staggeringly inventive Soothing Sounds for Baby, which received a Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy award nomination this year. Structured as an imaginary episode of Desert Island Discs, with Morpurgo himself in the hot seat, it spirals off into increasingly surreal and mind-bending directions with the cover of each musical choice springing to life in its own vignette.

To read the rest of Ryan Gilbey's feature on Joseph, please head on over to The Guardian here

Joseph Morpurgo