Ian McMillan introduces a commemoration of the Peterloo Massacre to mark the one hundred year anniversary of the events of 16 August 1819.
Maxine Peake performs Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem of protest The Masque of Anarchy. Shelley was compelled to respond to the massacre in which cavalrymen charged campaigners protesting against the restrictive parliamentary representation of the time in St Peter,s Field, Manchester, leaving 15 dead and 700 injured. Recorded only a few miles from where it happened, Maxine Peake’s performance makes the poem - a call for political action - resonate for a contemporary audience.
We also hear eyewitness accounts from Samuel Bamford a radical reformer who led the group from Middleton and his wife Jemima Bamford performed by Jason Done and Christine Bottomley. Contemporary ballads written in the aftermath are sung by Jennifer Read.
The Masque of Anarchy, with a specially composed sound design by Peter Rice, was directed by Sarah Frankcom. The eyewitness accounts were directed by Nadia Molinari.
This commemoration of the Peterloo Massacre was a BBC North Production, produced by Susan Roberts.
A commemoration of the Peterloo Massacre in August 1819.