Win tickets to the UK premiere of Keeping Rosy starring Maxine Peake!

Keeping Rosy is a new hard-hitting British drama starring Maxine Peake and Blake Harrison, which will be released in cinemas this week. To celebrate we are giving you the chance to win tickets to a screening of the film this Thursday in London. To learn more please click on the link below.

Charlotte (Maxine Peake) is a career-driven woman, living in London. Charlotte’s life begins to unravel after she is turned down for a new position at work, which leads to a fatal event. Seeking help she turns to Roger (Blake Harrison), a security guard with a dark and violent alter ego who infiltrates Charlotte and her sister Sarah’s (Christine Bottomley) lives.



“We’re more interesting as we get older” – Maxine Peake talks to HeyUGuys on set of Keeping Rosy

Maxine Peake feels like one of Britain’s best kept secrets – as the immensely talented performer still remains in lower-budget, independent productions, shining in everything she’s in, be it comedy or drama. There is always the danger that as she gets older the roles will start drying up – but she’s been given the chance to show off her credentials in the forthcoming feature Keeping Rosy – and Peake told HeyUGuys on the set of the harrowing thriller, that she believes characters of this ilk are actually more interesting.


“Women and men are far more interesting as they get older,” she said. “All that wisdom and experience is fascinating, and I don’t know why we don’t tap in to that more in Britain. We get trapped in what is quite an American thing, where it all has to be about youth and beauty, which is fine to look at, and I’m not saying they can’t be interesting stories, but sometimes the older somebody is, the higher the stakes are, which drags the story along at a pace and engages people. It’s also nice to have a female protagonist who is of that age. They’re usually very young. ”
In this instance, Peake plays Charlotte, a successful businesswoman who finds her life turned upside down when she accidentally murders her cleaner – in what is a compelling study of one woman’s descent into a naturalistic living hell. Peake was thrilled to have been given the opportunity to take on this heavily nuanced role, as she praises writer Mike Oughton and director Steve Reeves debut endeavour.
“The film just keeps within reality. It’s very human. I found the script really gripping. My character is flawed, she’s quite a tough woman initially. But the fine line that it beautifully treads just ensures that even when extreme things happen, they’re believable. It’s something you can relate to, and I just thought, great, two guys have written a story about a woman in her 40s and put her in the lead.”

Opposite Peake is Blake Harrison, most most commonly renowned for his portrayal of the loveable, dimwitted Neil in The Inbetweeners. However the young actor admits that comedy wasn’t always the path he had envisaged for himself, telling us that back at drama school, it was the more antagonistic roles that he was associated with – a type of role he has revisited in Keeping Rosy.
“When I was at drama school, I mostly played villains,” he told us. “Comedy was always something I loved to do, I love making people laugh and I always thought it was something I was capable of doing, but I definitely, over the last few years, have missed playing those villainous characters that I used to do a lot of.”
Harrison plays Roger – the twisted counterpart to Charlotte, who could potentially hold the key to her future – and he admits that given his comedic background, he was fortunate to be offered a role of this ilk.
“I’ve not done anything like this on TV or film before, it’s a new challenge which is a lot of fun to do,” he claimed. “They took a punt on me. When reading the script, the initial people that pop in your head are the likes of Neil Maskell. So to pick someone like myself, they’ve chosen a very specific way to go with the character, which catches the audience off guard a bit more. You don’t know where this character is going to go, or how far this character will go.”

Director Steve Reeves, however, explained to us why he chose to give this role to an actor otherwise associated with other genres – and what he saw in him that many others hadn’t (yet).
“We see a lot of the usual suspects, the tough, hard-nut East End blokes, but I was watching The Inbetweeners with my son and I thought, he’d be quite good, he’s tall and gangly and he’s got an interesting look,” said Reeves. “So we sent him the script thinking he probably wouldn’t be interested, but he did this amazing tape he sent us from LA and he really threw himself into it, and you can tell he’s a proper serious actor.”
Harrison did admit that this role was something of a challenge for him however, though allowed for him to be more expressive in his craft – in an experience he revelled in. “Neil in The Inbetweeners is so stupid, and after about two or three seconds he’s forgotten everything and moved on, which is one of his loveable characteristics. As an actor, when you’re doing that, you don’t have the opportunity to play anything too emotional, you just shrug it off and move on, and keep that happy-go-lucky attitude,” he continued. “Sometimes it can feel quite limiting as an actor, so when I get roles like this, it is a little more freeing and there’s more of a range of emotions, which is more challenging and a lot of fun to play.”

That’s not to say he resents his work in The Inbetweeners (which has a sequel feature film out this summer) – admitting that he owes his career to the hit comedy series.
“I have done well, so far, because of that show. When I was auditioning for The Inbetweeners, I was doing an unpaid play in a pub theatre. Every time you were about to do an emotional scene, you’d hear a roar because somebody has just scored a goal in the football showing on the telly. So it wasn’t particularly glamorous. So I am incredibly thankful for The Inbetweeners, and I do think of it so fondly – but the key is, you have to try and hope that you can create a body of other work that can distance you from that. It’s a balancing act. I love the character, I love working with those guys. But you’ve got to make sure you can seen doing other things as well.”
What undoubtedly makes Harrison’s job just that little easier, is by starring alongside somebody as experienced and talented as Peake – who he was quick to praise. “Maxine is fantastic to work with, she’s just brilliant. She has something special about her, a really natural way of performing. She’s one of the few actors that I would like to emulate, in that they play both sides – comedy and drama. She can do both exceptionally well, and it’s something I’d love to emulate,” he finished, “I’ve had a lot of fun doing this, so I hope it can be the start of me doing more of this type of stuff, but you never know.”
When on set, which was shot on location in East London, we also had the pleasure of speaking to Oughton, the writer, who was keen on being present on the shoot throughout, to offer his input into proceedings – something he felt confident to do, given Reeves, the director, had been a close friend and colleague for a number of years.
“We started working together on a fast food commercial 15 years ago,” he said. “The great thing about working with Steve is that we have very similar sensibilities. We work together a lot. We have the same interests, so it’s been great working with him.”
The pair had worked in advertising, and decided to try their hand in feature films – and following an unsuccessful screenplay prior to Keeping Rosy, they decided to remain within their means second time around, and try to create something a little more attainable with a modest sized allowance. Oughton hopes that this could lead on to further projects, and turn writing into a fully fledged career.
“I would love to do it as a job if I ever got the chance to,” he said. “It’s just hugely humbling to see this come together. There are moments when you see three great actors saying my words, and I’m pretty awestruck by that. It was actually better than I ever thought it would be.”
Reeves also explained that the journey up until this point was a stressful one, but, similarly to his writing partner, is hopeful this vocation has more to offer him. “I was sent a few films as a director, Jean-Claude Van Damme ones where you go to Romania to make films for American high school kids, that sort of stuff. I found it really frustrating, so that’s why Mike and I got together to do it ourselves,” he said.
“We wrote our first film seven years ago, and it’s been a painful journey. But what’s lovely about this is there’s no clients to answer to, or someone saying ‘can you change the colour of that wall because it’s the competitors brand colour’ or anything. So it’s brilliant that the decisions are down to me. It’s unique.”
What is also unique, is to have a protagonist that is not only a middle-aged woman, but to cover a theme mostly ignored in cinema, despite being hugely common in real life – that of a woman triumphing in her vocation, and climbing the career ladder, so to speak, for the biological clock to then tick. It’s a premise Reeves hopes will be relatable to many members of the audience.
“A lot of women will emphasise with the lead’s situation,” he said. “They’ve worked really hard and come from quite working class backgrounds, and struggled to do well in a male dominated business, and a class dominated society, and get to a certain level, then to be fucked over when your biological clock is ticking. It’s something a lot of people will emphasise with. Our main character is a victim of that.”
However when asked if he spoke to any women for research purposes to help gage the more intimate, personal feelings of those who have been through a similar predicament, he laughed “No, I was too scared!”
Keeping Rosy is released in cinemas on June 27th. Check back on the site later this week for our review, and feature on Christine Bottomley, one of the film’s stars.


Exclusive: new ‘Keeping Rosy’ Trailer

Maxine Peake’s upcoming Brit thriller Keeping Rosy has unveiled its new trailer exclusively through Digital Spy.

The film sees the Silk actress play Charlotte, a media executive who’s betrayed at work and finds her life gradually spiralling out of control.

Steve Reeves’s thriller also casts The Inbetweeners actor Blake Harrison as a sadistic security guard who blackmails Charlotte.

Keeping Rosy will open in London on June 27 and spread nationwide at Picturehouse venues from July 15.

Watch the trailer on‘s website.

Another ‘Keeping Rosy’ review…

Another ‘Keeping Rosy’ review…

If you’re still unsure whether to watch Maxine’s new film ‘Keeping Rosy‘ or not, read this amazing review:

Director: Steve Reeves

Starring: Maxine Peake, Blake Harrison, Christine Bottomley, Sam Hoare, Elisa Lasowski

Rating: 15

Running Time: 93 minutes

We all have bad days. Awful days. Days that will alter our lives from that time forth, if not only in our memories then in manifest ways as the shock-waves flow out from the choices we make and actions we take. If we are lucky we can count on one hand (hopefully avoiding all five fingers) those split second events which forever reconstruct our lives. Some are happy; marriage, birth, accolades. Some, not so much. Even death can be viewed either way – for some it is a relief and a release whether death comes for oneself or another in their life. Conversely, it can mark the demise of a world we believed was ours indefinitely and over which we had dominion. As any psychoanalyst will tell you, you can think and fantasize anything you want. The most gory atrocities, vengeful, unthinkable acts we could never admit to anyone (except maybe that analyst) but it is whether we take action on those thoughts which is the critical line in the so-called ever shifting sands of life.

Welcome to Charlotte’s really, very, super bad day.

On the surface, KEEPING ROSY chronicles the worst day of Charlotte’s life, played to perfection by a steely Maxine Peake, an actress not well-known to American audiences but with numerous UK acting credits spanning stage, TV and both feature and short film.
We awaken with Charlotte in her high-rise glass citadel of protection and privilege and proceed with her daily routine to her locus of control: her “career.” Career, and all it bestows and denotes, is Charlotte’s entire life. Driven, brittle and with a barely contained fury just under the surface, it is startling and unusual to see such an inhumane and ruthless female character. Charlotte is one cold-hearted bitch to be blunt, and it’s a welcome surprise frankly.

After the film’s defining moment which slices into our psyches like a scalpel, the story pushes us faster and faster along an adrenaline fueled flight to see how far she will go to salvage her dying world. What she is capable of doing to forestall the furious unraveling of everything she believes is always just beyond our grasp. We come to ask ourselves whether the life she has created is a prison or a fortress. Perched in her glass tower is she a casualty of the race to the top – her race for recognition, to elude her past, to be equal to her male colleagues? Or rather, has she carefully crafted her environment to keep everything at bay? A life where no one can get “in” and she never has to give? What we believe in the beginning of the film may not be what we come to believe by its end. Cleverly, the newly built, sterile and pristine building in which Charlotte lives is called “Elysium Towers.” In Greek mythology Elysium was a utopia for immortal heroes, a land of bliss and perfection at the end of the earth and a place for the blessed dead. Clever touch there…

I cannot reveal the significance of the film’s title but it becomes evident in a key series of scenes which unfold as sharply as a piece of origami. The film feels like a meticulously staged play, both in terms of its narrative and the inescapable sensation we have of being closed in a box with Charlotte. It is fascinating, absolutely excruciating, and a masterful balancing act by writer Mike Oughton and writer/director Steve Reeves. By film’s end – an end which will make you gasp, and which really, is the only perfect and believable end – the Greek myth becomes more and more fitting. Oughton and Reeves previously collaborated on a short film entitled TAKING LIFE which is described as “A hard-nosed business woman has the worst day of her life.” I would love to see what was clearly the seed for their feature-length film and the first project for them both.

The supporting cast of KEEPING ROSY is small but well cast with Blake Harrison as Roger a security guard, and Christine Bottomley as Charlotte’s sister. KEEPING ROSY moves efficiently and swiftly, slowing only for a brief spell when Charlotte and Roger head out in her car. Much of what transpires then enables Roger to wrest the seat of power from Charlotte, and it is necessary to the story. Given it is the film’s only minor misstep, it is a small price to pay before the startling climax. Rage, betrayal, love, desperation, life and death are all here – much like a Greek myth – in a wonderfully compelling modern character. Being a witness to her fall from immortality, her mortal transformation foist upon her through tragedy, is a frightening merciless ride and one well worth taking.

4/5 stars

KEEPING ROSY is released in limited UK cinemas from the June 27th, later expanding on July 15th


Tickets can be bought via!

Keeping Rosy: Christine Bottomley talks Keeping Rosy

On Portland Street in Manchester city centre, sandwiched between Chinatown and the coach station, there’s a large disused office block. Just now it’s being pressed into service for three weeks as the unique venue for cinema screenings of a intriguing new British thriller.

Keeping Rosy stars Maxine Peake as tightly-buttoned businesswoman Charlotte, with Christine Bottomley as her earthier sister Sarah. As both actresses are from this part of the world – Peake from Bolton, Bottomley from Rochdale – Manchester has been chosen for its debut before a limited theatrical run courtesy of the national Picturehouse cinema chain from the end of the month.

Speaking exclusively to Northern Soul, Bottomley explains how she first became involved in the film: “I was sent the script and Maxine was already attached to it so she’d notified me that there was this project coming my way. I read it and I really liked it, because there were two decent roles for females in there. Also, I’ve worked with Maxine before – she’s actually a good mucker of mine – so just the thought of working with her again on a decent piece was lovely. I was there, absolutely!”

In fact, Bottomley and Peake have crossed paths several times over the course of their careers. “I knew her originally from a TV show called Early Doors, the Craig Cash series,” says Bottomley – stirring happy memories of The Feathers pub and its hapless landlord Ken: she played his adopted daughter Melanie while Peake played single mother Janice, a Feathers’s regular. “So we did that together and since then we did a play called Rutherford and Son at the Royal Exchange in Manchester. And then last time I worked with her, I was her wife – I was kissing her in a Victorian corset affair [2010 BBC drama The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister], so we’ve done it all really.”

On arrival at the entrance to 55 Portland Street, audience members are checked in by security staff and escorted up to the 11th floor for the screening. It has to be said, the view this space affords across the city is quite something. During the screening, each seat comes with its own dedicated iPad so the audience sync up to a soundtrack app and listen through headphones. There are lots of neat touches about this pop-up ‘immersive’ cinema experience which echo the film itself, as becomes clear during the screening (though it also becomes clear why permanent cinemas go to such lengths to get things like blacked-out auditoriums and raked seating just right).

The third major cast member of Keeping Rosy is Inbetweeners alumnus Blake Harrison, as Roger, the shifty employee of a security firm. Despite the heavy Northern slant to the cast, Keeping Rosy was actually filmed on location in the East End of London. “It was shot on the Isle of Dogs, and it’s got these gorgeous scenescapes from around there and Canary Wharf,” Bottomley explains. “London’s almost like a fourth character in the film. That backdrop’s always sort of looming around. I’m now London-based, but I’m kind of the other side of London, so going there to work every day – well, that side of town is another world, really. It’s got a very different feel to it and that was helpful, actually.”

Bottomley describes her character Sarah as a stark contrast to Peake’s Charlotte. “They’re so far removed from each other. My character’s very much living in the moment – a bit naughty, a bit rough around the edges. She comes to her sister’s quite clinical world in London and tries to warm it up a bit. But she’s got a real lust for life and doesn’t always take on board where everyone else is at in their lives. She just ploughs on through.”

Bottomley’s wary of giving too much away about the ins and outs of Keeping Rosy‘s plot, and with good reason. It’s pretty difficult to discuss it. Certainly it’s best for viewers to see it without too much prior knowledge. Even the title carries a special significance. Let’s just say that, from the opening scenes, Charlotte is pitched into the day from hell. After a major disappointment at work, things spiral way out of control, as things so often do. Charlotte ends up deep in real trouble, and turns to her sister Sarah for help. Sarah shows up at Charlotte’s flat with her young daughter, and soon after, Roger becomes embroiled in their predicament too, whereupon events come to the boil good and proper.

It should be made clear that Peake is absolutely centre stage here, and she delivers a real tour de force performance. The characters of Sarah and Roger really only appear for the final straight: whole swathes of the narrative just feature Charlotte, stranded and desperate, leaving Peake to convey a great deal without dialogue. What she manages to express with her eyes alone is hugely impressive. Bottomley and Harrison acquit themselves very admirably, too. The sound design, heightened by the use of those headphones, is also effective.

What lets it down, though, is a slightly one-note tone and, even more damagingly, the sort of whopping great plot holes that you could drive a Land Rover through. They register high on the ‘No, but hang on’ scale, pulling the viewer right out of the story. It’s a bit of a shame because the sense of ambition on display here is laudable. But while it sets out to be a dark, edgy contemporary character study – think Breaking Bad as directed by Ben Wheatley – it ends up as a lavishly shot, well performed but ultimately underwhelming big-screen equivalent of the sort of performance-driven modern British drama that you’d expect to see on BBC One at 10pm. The claustrophobic chamber piece of the final third generates some much needed traction, but it’s not quite enough to save the whole film.

Nonetheless, it’s an interesting experiment in film distribution, albeit rather more than it is in filmmaking. And Peake’s lonely, intense, tragedy-soaked performance certainly whets the appetite for her appearance as Hamlet at Manchester’s Royal Exchange later this year.

Review by Andy Murray


Various Gallery Updates: Scans, Keeping Rosy, Hamlet

Made a master post for all things related Keeping Rosy, a few scans added and the Royal Exchange Theatre Program where Maxine is featured in for Hamlet. Hope you enjoy:

Gallery Links:

Film review: Maxine Peake stars in psychological thriller Keeping Rosy

JUST like Jack Bauer at the start of a new series of the heart-stopping show 24, you know that Charlotte, played by Maxine Peake, is not going to have a good day.

At the start of the film she has it all, a high-powered job in the city, a glamorous apartment and a top of the range car, but at the same time, emotionally, she has very little.

A scene in her office block shows the difficulty she has in dealing with her emotions and other people.
When a colleague comes in to show off her newborn baby she flinches and buckles, escaping from the situation at the earliest opportunity.

Charlotte’s whole world explodes at the news that she has been passed over for promotion in favour of a junior colleague — and has also been forced out of the company.

As the saying goes, it never rains but it pours.

She then takes her emotions out on an unwitting victim, which changes her life forever.

And without giving too much away, even as Charlotte descends into a web of lies and deceit, you still root for her, such is the power of Maxine’s acting.

The reaction to the twists and turns of this tense thriller literally took the audience’s breath away at Thursday’s premiere, so be ready to be surprised in this thrilling, pulsating journey into the mind of a woman living on the edge.

Andrew Bardsley


Maxine Peake’s new film premieres at ‘pop-up’ cinema

BOLTON actress Maxine Peake’s new film has opened at a “pop-up” cinema — on the top floor of a Manchester city centre office block.

The former Westhoughton High School pupil’s latest project, “Keeping Rosy”, was premiered on Thursday night in 55 Portland Street.

And it has now opened to the public for a four- week run as an “immersive” cinema experience.

The psychological thriller sees the 39-year-old take the role of Charlotte, a career- driven high flyer in London whose world collapses around her when she loses her job, and a series of events leave her on the brink.
It was certainly not your average night at the pictures as we were whisked to the top floor and then watched the film with headphones instead of traditional stereo sound.

Speaking at Thursday’s premiere, which attracted Elbow frontman Guy Garvey, former drummer in The Smiths, Mike Joyce, and BBC 6 Music DJ Stuart Maconie, Maxine said the idea was to make it an experience rather than just a film.

She added: “It is a night out, that is what we are trying to create. When you come to see it you’re not just sitting down and watching a film. It is an immersive experience. It’s a great film. It’s gripping, it’s exciting and there are unexpected twists and turns.”

The film also features Blake Harrison, who played Neil in The Inbetweeners. He takes on the role of a security guard who threatens to uncover Charlotte’s web of problems.

Rochdale born Christine Bottomley, who plays Charlotte’s sister, travels from the family home in the North to help out her sibling.

Maxine says she does not have much in common with self-centred Charlotte, but added: “I hope people go with her. Anybody’s life can change on a sixpence in events like that, which are slightly out of control.”

The film sees Maxine make a foray into the thriller genre, after starring in hard-hitting series The Village and legal drama Silk, which ended in March.

The film gets a UK-wide release on July 15 at selected cinemas, with the film running in Manchester until July 6.


Video Update: Maxine Peake on BBC North West Tonight

Maxine was on BBC North West Tonight, talking all things Keeping Rosy. Here’s a clip if you missed the interview:

Big thanks to my friend Rich for helping out once again. Maxine’s pretty busy at the moment I’d say 😀

Pictured: Guests attend film premiere of Keeping Rosy starring Maxine Peake

Maxine Peake’s new film, showing exclusively in Manchester this month, is an intense thriller doing something few other films of its kind are at the moment.

Having a female as the lead.

But Keeping Rosy is not just stepping out of the box with its protagonist’s gender. The independent film is screening on the 11th floor of a city centre office in a pop-up-theatre.

“Blake was out in LA at the time so we sent him the script and he actually auditioned with a video filmed on an iPhone. It was amazing, I couldn’t believe it was the same person.”

The experience is designed to be immersive with elements of the film trickling out into real life as you enter.

From the security guard escorting you in the lift to the rather bossy cleaner telling you to take your seats before the film even begins the surreal experience prepares you for the unexpected events about to unfold over the next 90 minutes.

Maxine Peake, who plays Charlotte, spoke to the MEN after the Keeping Rosy screening.

She said: “I think it’s great the screening is in Manchester. Everything seems to be in London but this film has two women in it from Manchester!

“When I first got sent the script I thought it was amazing that the main protagonist was a woman but I also thought this deserves to be much bigger budget. Luckily it’s not because it meant I got to do it.”

The film centres on Charlotte, a woman in her late thirties who appears to have it all, until one day she follows up losing her job with a very unexpected accident and her whole life falls apart.

Staring alongside Maxine is Christine Bottomley (Eastenders, Silent Witness) who plays Charlotte’s sister.

Speaking about her character Christine said: “She’s is the polar opposite of Max’s character. She hasn’t really got her life sorted out and she lives for the moment.

“I love working with Maxine and this is such a great film. It’s so important to support British independent films and that’s why people should come and see this. It really deserves it.”

The small screen inside 55 Portland Street seats around 100 people, and to make the experience even more intimate the film is synced to iPads which you use to listen to the film’s sound through headphones.

Director Steve Reeves believes the concept sets the screening apart.

He said: “It’s a brilliant idea. The whole thing. When people come in they shouldn’t realise how things they see before the film tie in but as they are watching they should twig.

“It’s like that whole thing they are doing at theme parks now with 4D its really fantastic.”

Starring alongside the two leading ladies, and showing his nasty side, is Blake Harrison best known for playing Neil in The Inbetweeners.

Steve said: “For Roger (Blake’s character) I was looking for someone really nasty. And I was watching The Inbetweeners with my son and I thought I wonder if Neil could do it.

“Blake was out in LA at the time so we sent him the script and he actually auditioned with a video filmed on an iPhone. It was amazing, I couldn’t believe it was the same person.

“I think it’s often the way with comedy actors. They can switch between light-hearted and very dark.”

For anyone trying to discover more of the film’s plot, you will struggle to do so without stumbling across some major spoilers.

The film is a string of unexpected events held together by three incredible performances.

Writer, Mike Oughton, said the writing process was “pretty organic” and the plot twists just happened.

He added: “It follows a linear narrative so it’s a traditional thriller in a sense. But there should be some shocks along the way and I don’t think anyone will predict the ending.

“It was fantastic, we took our headphones off at the end of the screening and thee whole audience either screamed or gasped. Which is incredible.”

Keeping Rosy will run for four weeks from June 6 before moving to London.

It is showing at 55 Portland Street and tickets are £19.25 including booking fee and a glass of champagne and are available here.