Bolton actress Maxine Peake swaps the theatre for the streets to sell Big Issue

SHE calls the Royal Exchange Theatre her second home, but Bolton actress Maxine Peake is usually treading the boards there, not selling the Big Issue outside it.

Maxine was selling the magazine as part of a campaign to support its sellers who are homeless.

The star, who won rave reviews for her performances in Hamlet and The Skriker at the theatre in Manchester was one of a number of celebrities to take part in the magazine’s Vendor Week campaign.

It also featured poet Lemm Sissay, who crew up in care in Leigh and Atherton and is now the chancellor of the University of Manchester, radio DJ and Inspiral Carpets keyboardist Clint Boon and Tony Lloyd, the interim Greater Manchester Mayor.

They all spent an hour selling the Big Issue in Manchester city centre to find out what it is like for the magazine’s regular sellers.

Maxine said it was “really hard” but an enjoyable experience to spend time with seller Monica, who she has met before while performing at the theatre.

She said: “It was fun, it was great to spend time with Monica, who is a Big Issue seller outside the stage door at the Royal Exchange, who I’ve known for a few years.

“People ignoring you and blanking you or looking at you quite disgruntled is quite a difficult thing. I did it for about an hour and I know Monica does four or five hour shifts. It’s destroying in some ways.

“People were lovely as well, so you’ve got that mix, somebody being a bit grumpy and then somebody being absolutely, so its quite difficult.”

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