Martha is funny, bright and without guile.
She is absolutely herself in her professional world, which she always puts before her personal life. She says what she thinks and doesn't dress it up in legal speak. This is really rare at the Bar. Clients love her because her honesty and lack of self-importance is a breath of fresh air in Law-land. But her straightness sometimes gets her into trouble and she tends to rub the establishment up the wrong way. Not necessarily the best thing when you’ve only just got Silk.
Martha’s passion is defence work - she hardly ever prosecutes. However because she’s just become a QC, she now surprisingly finds herself with very few cases – unless it has a silk ticket attached, Billy won’t let her touch it. Increasingly finding it lonely at the top she feels the need to prove herself even more than before.
In the pursuit of justice and the truth, Martha finds herself entangled in the web of Micky Joy (Phil Davis), solicitor to the hardest of criminals and an old school player of the system who walks both sides of the line. In the face of this worthy nemesis, Martha’s faith and belief in the criminal justice system is tested to the limit over the course of the series.
Maxine graduated from the RADA and has appeared in numerous television and stage productions including Shameless, Dinnerladies, Early Doors, See No Evil, Confessions of a Diary Secretary as well as Hancock and Joan. She has also appeared in the BBC adaptation of Little Dorrit and Channel 4's The Devil's Whore as well as Criminal Justice 2 and The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister. More recently she has appeared film productions such as Clubbed and Red Riding.
You can also watch Maxine Peake in the short comedy film Would Like To Meet, available on the BBC Film Network website.
Watch Maxine talk about her role as Martha Costello: