Supervising Art Director DAN TAYLOR
Set Decorator CHARLOTTE WATTS
Nearly a year after the premiere of his biopic of JMW Turner, Mike Leigh has announced his intention to return to the 19th century for his next film. Peterloo, due to start shooting in 2017, is a drama about the infamous 1819 Manchester massacre, which killed an estimated 18 protesters and injured up to 700.
“There has never been a feature film about the Peterloo massacre,” said Leigh. “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.”
The massacre occurred when government troops – including local yeomanry – charged a crowd of around 60,000 people gathered in St Peter’s Field in Manchester to demand the reform of parliamentary representation.
The rally was organised by the Manchester Patriotic Union, who commissioned radical orator Henry Hunt to speak. But he was arrested shortly before the rally begun, and cavalry drew their sabres to try to disperse the gathered crowds, leading to confusion and loss of life.