The Masque of Anarchy | Theatre

Manchester International Festival

Directed by Sarah Frankcom

Maxine Peake

In Manchester’s reborn Albert Hall, Maxine Peake and director Sarah Frankcom conjured up the ghosts of the Peterloo Massacre just yards from the location where it took place in 1819. Peake recited all 37 verses of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem as the audience listened silently by candlelight. 

The Manchester Albert Hall’s organ was partially restored for the production and performed live along with a newly commissioned recorded score.

Clothed all in white, Peake seemed like a fiery angel as she fervently proclaimed “Such starvation cannot be as in England NOW we see”. Given only four performances, the performance was a call to political action that positively demands to be repeated’ The Guardian

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