Hosted by the Department of Government

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building, LSE, United Kingdom


Mike Leigh

Mike Leigh

Jacqueline Riding

Jacqueline Riding


Jonathan Hopkin

We shall be screening Peterloo, written and directed by internationally renowned film director, Mike Leigh. Mike has witten and directed a number of British film classics including Abigail's Party, Nuts in May, Secrets and Lies and Vera Drake. Mike has won a number of awards including Best Director (1993) and the Palm d'Or (1996) at the Cannes Film Festival and the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival (2004).

We are very fortunate to be joined by Mike Leigh and the film's historian, Dr Jacqueline Riding for a Q&A session after the screening.


The film is a drama based on events surrounding the infamous 1819 Peterloo Massacre, where British forces fired on a peaceful pro-democracy rally at St Peter's Field in Manchester.

The notorious massacre saw British government forces charge into a crowd of 60,000 that had to demand political reform. The forces killed an estimated 18 protestors and injured hundreds, sparking outcry but also further government crackdowns.

This was a defining moment in radical British history which also played a significant role in the founding of the UK's leftwing broadsheet newspaper The Guardian.

"There has never been a feature film about the Peterloo Massacre. The universal significance of this historic event becomes ever more relevant in our own turbulent times." Mike Leigh

A preview of the film can be viewed here.

Mike Leigh OBE FRSL is an English writer and director of film and theatre.

Dr Jacqueline Riding is an art historian, historian, adviser and author.

Jonathan Hopkin is Associate Professor of Comparative Politics in the LSE Department of Government


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