Entertainment & Arts

Peterloo: London festival film to premiere - in Manchester

Maxine Peake in Peterloo Image copyright Entertainment One
Image caption Maxine Peake has spoken about the importance of remembering the massacre

Mike Leigh's film about the 1819 Peterloo massacre in Manchester is to get its UK premiere in the city.

The 17 October screening has been organised by the London Film Festival and will be the first premiere staged by the festival outside the capital.

Maxine Peake and Rory Kinnear appear in the film, about the day troops charged a crowd of 60,000 demanding political reform, killing at least 10 people.

Leigh said he was "truly delighted" the UK premiere would be in Manchester.

The director, who has been nominated for seven Oscars, said: "It's always an honour to be included in the glorious London Film Festival, but how inspired and generous of the festival to screen Peterloo in Manchester, where it all happened."

Image copyright Simon Mein
Image caption The Manchester screening will follow the world premiere at the Venice Film Festival

The premiere will take place at the Home arts centre, around half a mile from the site of St Peter's Fields, where the protest took place.

Home's artistic director of film Jason Wood said: "It is fitting that Manchester audiences will be amongst the first to see this highly anticipated film which focuses on a pivotal event in our city's and our nation's political history."

The film and a question and answer session with Leigh will also be relayed to cinemas around the UK.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Cavalrymen charged through the crowd at St Peter's Field in 1819

The premiere was announced on the 199th anniversary of the massacre. Peake, who is known for TV shows including Three Girls and Black Mirror and grew up in Bolton, has previously spoken at anniversary events to remember the massacre.

"It's about the importance of protest, the importance of people having a voice," she said in 2016.

"The importance of democracy and liberty, it is something that should never be forgotten and the fact that Manchester is a really progressive city and it should be really proud of that."

The film will get a nationwide release on 2 November.

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