Maxine Peake to play Blanche DuBois in Royal Exchange Theatre’s opening RET40 show

Amazing news has just been announced!

Associate Artist Maxine Peake opens the Royal Exchange’s 40th anniversary season with her portrayal of iconic female protagonist Blanche DuBois in Tennessee Williams’ 1947 Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece A STREET CAR NAMED DESIRE.

This production sees Exchange Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom and long-term collaborator Peake join forces once again to tackle one of modern dramas greatest plays. The production opens at the Royal Exchange on the 8 September and runs until 15 October.

Peake said of taking on the role…
Blanche DuBois is a monumental woman, complex, multi-layered and beautifully painted by Williams in this staggering play. Finding out who she is and developing her in a rehearsal room with a brilliant and generous director like Sarah is a thrilling journey to go on. I can’t wait to start.

This production reunites the incredible creative partnership behind acclaimed productions THE SKRIKER, HAMLET (Royal Exchange) and THE MASQUE OF ANARCHY (MIF 2013).

Sarah Frankcom commented…
This is an earthquake of a play that lays bare the extremes and contradictions of being human: desire and love, truth and delusion, hope and despair. I’m thrilled that this production will build on my creative collaboration with Maxine Peake. She’s a rare and fearless actor. I am positive we will create something electrifying for our intimate and unique space.

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Maxine Peake to play Rebekah Brooks in new Comic Strip caper

The Silk and Shameless star will portray the flame-haired newspaper executive in The Comic Strip Presents…The Red Top! for UKTV channel Gold

Maxine Peake is to play former Sun editor and newspaper executive Rebekah Brooks in a new Comic Strip adventure.

The Silk and Shameless actress will take a broad brush approach to the role in the fantasy which has the working title Red Top! and will air on the UKTV channel Gold.

The 75-minute comedy will “tell the story of Rebekah, an innocent and beguiling Northern girl who accidentally becomes Chief Executive of News International and gets caught up in a seventies Watergate-style scandal,” according to the channel.

Red Top! has been created by Comic Strip veteran Peter Richardson and will see The Young Ones actor Nigel Planer play media mogul Rupert Murdoch with Russell Tovey taking on the role of former News of the World editor Andy Coulson.

Johnny Vegas, Alexei Sayle, Harry Enfield, James Buckley and John Sessions will also star in the film which sees Episodes star Stephen Mangan reprise the part of Tony Blair which he played in the Comic Strip adventure The Hunt for Tony Blair.

Richardson said: “The Red Top lampoons the phone hacking scandal and the world of politics and press proprietors, and is set in a colourful seventies ‘Boogie Nights’-style parallel universe with a disco soundtrack. I’m thrilled to have such a fantastic cast. It should be huge fun.”

Commissioning editor Simon Lupton added: “There’s nothing quite like The Comic Strip anywhere else in the world of comedy and so it’s incredibly exciting to be part of this next chapter. The script is wonderfully hilarious and playful, and as always the cast list is an embarrassment of riches. The Comic Strip history is littered with iconic moments, characters and performances, and I’m confident Peter and his team will be creating some more with this latest instalment.”

The Red Top will be the second outing of the Comic Strip on Gold, following the 30th anniversary special The Comic Strip Presents… Five Go To Rehab in 2012. This was made three decades on from the group’s debut Five Go Mad In Dorset in 1982.

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Maxine Peake and Russell Tovey to star in Comic Strip’s phone-hacking comedy

Silk and The Village actor to play ‘innocent and beguiling northern girl’ Rebekah, who accidentally becomes chief executive of News International


Maxine Peake as Rebekah in The Comic Strip Presents … The Red Top! Photograph: UKTV

Peter Richardson’s Comic Strip series will turn its attention to Rupert Murdoch and the phone-hacking scandal in a new one-off comedy, The Red Top!, starring Maxine Peake, Russell Tovey and Stephen Mangan.

Peake will play flame-haired Rebekah, an “innocent and beguiling northern girl who accidentally becomes chief executive of News International and gets caught up in a 70s Watergate-style scandal” in the one-off comedy on UKTV’s Gold.

Tovey will play Andy Coulson and Mangan will reprise his role as Tony Blair from the last Comic Strip outing, The Hunt for Tony Blair. Murdoch will be played by former Young Ones star, Nigel Planer.

The new special, which will be set in the 1970s, will also star Johnny Vegas, Alexi Sayle, Harry Enfield, James Buckley and John Sessions, with Eleanor Matsuura as Rupert Murdoch’s ex-wife Wendi Deng.

The Comic Strip series began life on the very first night of Channel 4 in 1982 with a satire based on Enid Blyton’s Famous Five, Five Go Mad in Dorset.

Peter Richardson said: “Like our previous Comic Strip satire – The Hunt For Tony Blair – which was set in the 60s, The Red Top! lampoons the phone-hacking scandal and the world of politics and press proprietors, and is set in a colourful 70s Boogie Nights-style parallel universe with a disco soundtrack.

“I’m thrilled to have such a fantastic cast. It should be huge fun.”

Simon Lupton, commissioning editor for UKTV, added, “There’s nothing quite like The Comic Strip anywhere else in the world of comedy and so it’s incredibly exciting to be part of this next chapter.

“The script is wonderfully hilarious and playful, and as always the cast list is an embarrassment of riches. The Comic Strip history is littered with iconic moments, characters and performances, and I’m confident Peter and his team will be creating some more with this latest instalment.”

The Comic Strip Presents … The Red Top!, which is a working title, will be the second outing of the Comic Strip on Gold, following the 30th anniversary special The Comic Strip Presents… Five Go To Rehab in 2012, three decades on from Five Go Mad In Dorset.

The Red Top! was written by Peter Richardson alongside Pete Richens and Brigit Grant. It will be made by Great Western Features.

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Q&A with Maxine Peake at 2pm, TOMORROW on our Facebook Fanpage!

EDIT (Update):

Big thanks to Maxine Peake who took time out her busy schedule to answer questions on FB! She is truly appreciative of all your support 🙂

You can read Maxine Peake’s answers from today’s Q&A here. Happy reading and thanks for participating!

* * *

GREAT NEWS!

Maxine Peake agreed to take some time out her busy schedule to do an online Q&A session on our Facebook Fanpage page at 2PM, TOMORROW. So post your questions in NOW by commenting on this post.

Please make sure that your questions are only related to Maxine’s work and please remember that Maxine has a very busy schedule and limited amount of time to reply so please don’t be too disheartened if she can’t answer every single question.

She is greatly appreciative of all your support of her work, as are we.

Please comment with your question HERE!

Behind the Scene Exhibition to reveal photographs (Maxine Peake, Ben Whishaw, Judi Dench and more) on 22 June 2015

= BEHIND THE SCENE photographs will be reveal Monday June 22nd at noon =

Adam Godley

Aidan McArdle

Alex Bourne

Ben Whishaw

Brian Cox

Chukwudi Iwuji

Clare Higgins

Clive Rowe

Colin Salmon

Dame Judi Dench

Daniel Lapaine

Ed Hughes

Eve Best

Finty Williams

Freddie Fox

John Dougall

Jonathan Broadbent

Josie Rourke

Kevin Trainor

Mark Gatiss

Martha Plimpton

Matt Berry

Maxine Peake

Myanna Burning

Neil Gaiman

Niamh Cusack

Nigel Planer

Nina Sosanya

Oliver Chris

Peter Egan

Robert Hands

Simon Russell Beale

Sir David Hare

Sir Richard Eyre

Thea Sharrock

Tim McMullan

Timothy West

Tom Hollander

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BBC to demonstrate renewed commitment to prime time Arts programming and partnerships

BBC to unveil bigger commitment to arts in prime time, with a raft of Saturday night arts specials on BBC Two and new seasons on theatre, poetry and cinema

New shows to include a new topical arts series on BBC Two, with guest editors including Maxine Peake, Sunday Times journalist Lynn Barber, Armando Iannucci, and Director of Tate Modern, Chris Dercon; and Artists Question Time on BBC Four

This spring also sees new topical arts programming across both BBC Two and BBC Four. Actress Maxine Peake, Sunday Times journalist Lynn Barber, Armando Iannucci, and Director of Tate Modern, Chris Dercon will each guest edit a new four-part series, Artsnight – a brand new weekly 30 minute arts and culture magazine show, made by BBC Arts – to be aired on BBC Two following Newsnight every Friday in March. Whilst BBC Four is tackling head-on the thorny questions surrounding creativity in the UK today in Artists Question Time (1×60). Presented Kirsty Wark, the series opens with a vital debate on who the Arts are for in the UK, who gets to play a part in the them and how should they be funded in times of recession.

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Maxine Peake looking towards 2015 after a record-breaking year on the theatre stage

AFTER a successful year which saw her break box office records playing Hamlet, Bolton actress Maxine Peake has more to look forward to in 2015.

The 40-year-old, who grew up in Westhoughton, will grace the London theatre stage in February before taking part in the 2015 Manchester International Festival and later teaming up with The Hobbit star Martin Freeman.

Biographical romantic drama film The Theory of Everything, which explores the relationship between physicist Stephen Hawking and his wife, hits cinemas on New Year’s Day with Maxine appearing as Elaine Mason, Hawking’s second wife.

She said: “I think it’s up for Golden Globes and tipped for the Oscars — I pop in at the end of that.”

On January 5, she will start work at The Royal Court, London, where she has been cast in Zinnie Harris’ How to Hold Your Breath.

Looking towards the rest of 2015 and Maxine is excited to be teaming up with The Hobbit and Fargo actor Martin Freeman for independent film, Funny Cow — the story of a female comedian’s rise to fame.

She said: “Martin Freeman is on board, which is amazing.

“I met him at the Baftas.

“It’s in the hands of the producers now.

“We are aiming for October.

“Fingers crossed it will go into production.

“It’s one of those roles, I thought, I could quite happily retire after I played this part.

“It’s the ultimate part.

“It’s set in the working men’s clubs in Sheffield, in the ’70s.

“I’ve always been fascinated by that. I grew up going to working men’s clubs”

Over the summer, she will team up once more with the Royal Exchange Theatre’s artistic director Sarah Frankcom, for the Manchester International Festival, following the success of performance of The Masque of Anarchy in 2013 and the recent run of Hamlet.

Although unable to reveal exact details, she did say they would start rehearsing at the end of May.

She said: “I’m doing some theatre and then the Manchester International Festival.

“I’m doing that with Sarah Frankcom.

“I’m looking forward to it. I really enjoy the festival, just the audiences.

“They are just really up for it. They’re a different crowd, you just feel they are on your side and they want to be entertained.”

In September and October, theatre-goers flocked to see the former Westhoughton High School and Canon Slade pupil play Shakespeare’s iconic role of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark.

The sell-out run was extended and theatre fans even travelled from afar afield as America, as part of a trip to see Hamlet and other theatre shows across the country.

She said: “I was really surprised and really pleased because it was a bit of a gamble. You don’t know how it’s going to work out.”

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Pre-Order ‘Keeping Rosy’ starring Maxine Peake, Blake Harrison & Christine Bottomley – available 16 February 2015

Pre-Order ‘Keeping Rosy’ starring Maxine Peake, Blake Harrison & Christine Bottomley – available 16 February 2015

Maxine Peake and Blake Harrison star in this British thriller from writer/director Steve Reeves. Charlotte (Peake) is a busy career woman living and working in London. When her stable life both at home and work begins to unravel as her sister introduces her to new boyfriend Roger (Harrison), Charlotte starts to wonder who she really is and how she can escape what she has become.

Pre-order the DVD here!

I’m so looking forward to this film – having not only read the great reviews but also love a bit of drama so I’d suggest you check out the trailer if you’re still not convinced:



Impressive characters and an exciting plot, don’t you think? Get pre-ordering 🙂

For more info on Keeping Rosy visit their website and/or our tag for everything on the film.