Feature

Iain's Desert Island Discs

In the run up to the world premiere of The Tempest, we asked choreographer David Bintley and the dancers creating the lead roles in his magical new ballet what their Desert Island Discs would be if they were shipwrecked on Prospero's mystical isle.

Here Iain Mackay, who is creating the role of Prospero, shares his.

<p>Iain Mackay</p>. Credit: Andrew Ross.


My Desert Island Discs

'Dos Gardenias' - Buena Vista Social Club. When Silvia and I married in 2007 she walked down the aisle to this song. The end of the first line is 'Te quiero, te adoro, mi vida' ('I love you, I adore you, my life') - says it all really.

'Brothers In Arms' - Dire Straits. From the age of eight to 15, my family used to holiday every year, camping in the North West of Scotland. This song instantly takes me back to those days - it sounds to me like it was written in the Highlands of Scotland, it has a sense of power, beauty, ruggedness - more than anything it reminds me of where I come from.

Romeo and Juliet: 'Death of Juliet' - Prokofiev. I've always loved this moment in the score, usually because in the ballet, as Romeo, you have just killed yourself and you lie dead on stage, physically and emotionally exhausted, whilst your Juliet tears her heart out over you and then kills herself, the emotion on stage is palpable. It has an even deeper meaning for me since 2009. My Mum was the Music Librarian for the Royal Scottish National Orchestra for 25 years. When she died they dedicated a concert in her honour at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall. They finished the 1st half with this piece and when they finished playing the movement you could have heard a pin drop - I physically couldn't breathe, but not in a panicked way, it was the first moment I had found some peace at the saddest of times - the amazing power of art and music.

Divertissement No.2, Andante - André Messager (Two Pigeons pas de deux). I've danced only one show of this wonderful ballet as the Young Man, alongside Jenna Roberts. It was a wet Saturday Matinee, with only about 200 people in the audience, but It was one of the best shows I've ever danced and one of the few shows I will never forget - it was a special day. The music for the last pas de deux made it for me.

'Ain't Gone 'N' Give up on Love' - Stevie Ray Vaughan. I first heard this song when I was about 12. My dad had a VHS of a concert titled BB King and Friends. This guy looked so shy and awkward then he started playing his guitar and he became other worldly, the emotion in his playing is mind blowing to me. I've been a massive fan of Stevie and the blues ever since, and I wore that VHS to nothing!!

'Hard Times' - Ray Charles. My Dad had an LP of this that I would put on endlessly. His piano playing his voice the way it builds, I love it from start to finish.

'The Way You Make Me Feel' - Michael Jackson. I couldn't not have an MJ song, he's part of the reason I never gave up ballet in the early years. Like all MJ songs it's as much about the video and his dancing as it is the song. The guy was a genius!

Concerto In G Minor for violin and strings - Bach. When I was with Corella Ballet I performed a ballet by Stanton Welch called Clear. Its a fantastic ballet. The piece finishes with a stunning duet that's very intimate, understated and very moving, just like the music.

If I had to choose one it would be 'Ain't Gone 'N' Give Up on Love', and I could play air guitar all day long!

My Luxury

Luxury item would be a fishing rod preferably with a hook!

My Book

My book would be The BFG by Roald Dahl. The Dahl books are so much fun, I love the fact I can re-live and re-read them all again now with my boys. And with the Bible and the Complete Works of Shakespeare, I'll need some light relief!


Arts Council England (ACE) is celebrating its 70th birthday in 2016, marking the occasion with #70things: 70 arts and culture activities anyone can do. You can download the full list of activities here.

To share your Desert Island Discs list with ACE and with us, post on Twitter using the hashtags #70things and #BRBTempest