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Leigh to direct film about Peterloo

Published 17/04/2015

Mike Leigh is a native of Salford
Mike Leigh is a native of Salford

Award-winning director Mike Leigh is heading back to his home city for his next film - about the 19th century Peterloo massacre of protesters at a democracy rally.

Critics' favourite Leigh, who has been nominated for seven Oscars, will start work in 2017 on the film, which will tell the story of how around a dozen protesters were killed and hundred more injured when cavalry charged a rally demanding parliamentary reform at Manchester's St Peter's Field.

The event - dubbed Peterloo as an ironic comparison to the Battle of Waterloo which took place four years earlier - will be recreated by Leigh working with long-time collaborators Georgina Lowe and Dick Pope.

He said: " There has never been a feature film about the Peterloo Massacre.

"Apart from the universal political significance of this historic event, the story has a particular personal resonance for me, as a native of Manchester and Salford."

Leigh, whose last film Mr Turner was his biggest box office hit yet, is currently working on a version of The Pirates Of Penzance for the English National Opera, which is due to open next month.

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