Peterloo 12A


Please note: This was screened in Nov 2018

Mike Leigh
Rory Kinnear, Maxine Peake, Neil Bell
154 mins, 2018, UK
Primary language:

Mike Leigh is at the pinnacle of his powers depicting a rousing tale of working class uprising and its violent suppression in Manchester in 1819, in a clash that would fundamentally change Britain forever.

This is a dramatisation of the circumstances leading to the Peterloo Massacre, in which a crowd of between 60,000 - 80,000 civilians, protesting for better political representation, were attacked by the cavalry and yeomanry, leaving dozens of innocent men, women and children dead and hundreds more injured. The incident caused widespread outcry, boosting support for the suffrage movement and leading to the foundation of the Guardian newspaper.

Leigh weaves multiple stories of everyday people (the cast is huge and includes the likes of Maxine Peake, Rory Kinnear and Pearce Quigley) to create a stunning historical epic, one that delivers a sobering look at a 19th century moment that still resonates in the present.

Download Programme Notes (PDF)