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(12A) IN AN early scene of Mike Leigh’s historical drama, an exhausted mother (Maxine Peake) presides over her brood in Manchester with stoic resolve as the bitter cup of oppression overflows in the corridors of Westminster.
“Times is too hard to lose hope. Hope is all we’ve got,” professes the matriarch as neighbours prepare to take to the streets for a prodemocracy rally in Missed it at the cinema or on TV? We round up the best streaming and DVD releases of the week defiance of the ruling Tory government.
Her words reverberate throughout Peterloo, an impassioned call to arms across the class divide which builds with sickening inevitability to the 1819 massacre of protesters at St Peter’s Field in Manchester, which Leigh recreates with all of the sound and fury he can muster.
The cavalry charge should be emotionally shattering but it’s a struggle to find faces in the crowd that audiences will care about.
Maxine Peake as Nellie