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Mike Leigh to address 1819 Peterloo Massacre in new film

Mike Leigh directs Another Year

Story by Jack Foley

MIKE Leigh is tackle the events of the 1819 Peterloo Massacre in Manchester for his next film.

The British filmmaker told Screen International that the film has “personal resonance” given that he is a native of Manchester and Salford.

Some 15 people were killed and hundreds injured when government troops charged a 60,000-strong crowd who were demanding political reform. A national tragedy at the time, the incident had widespread repercussions and led to the passing of what became known as the Six Acts. It also led to the founding of the Guardian newspaper.

The film version of the Peterloo Massacre would represent Leigh’s most ambitious – and costly – project to date and follows his critically-acclaimed last film, Mr Turner. The director hopes to shoot the movie in 2017, citing its “universal political significance”.

He is currently rehearsing with the English National Opera, with whom he will direct their production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s Pirates of Penzance, which opens on May 9, 2015.

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