Maxine Peake writes and stars in new radio drama about Arthur Scargill's wife
BOLTON actress Maxine Peake has said she jumped at the chance to play Anne Scargill in a new radio drama.
The Silk actress, aged 39, has written and will star in the Radio 4 play Queens Of The Coal Age, about four miners’ wives who attempted to save pits from closure by occupying a mine.
She said: “People talk of (Margaret) Thatcher removing the glass ceiling for women in this country, she’s even been labelled a feminist, but I strongly disagree. These were the real Iron Ladies.”
The Village actress, who grew up in Bolton, added: “I was 10 years old when the miners’ strike started in 1984 and it’s the sole event that plotted out my political landscape. Even at that young age I knew, somehow, that this wasn't just an attack on the miners, but on working-class people in general.
"The strike was a potent and historic event: the country on the brink of civil war and miners fighting for their community’s survival.”
Peake said that her grandfather, a member of the Communist Party, was “on the receiving end of police victimisation” after collecting for the miners in 1984.
The Shameless actress said she “always had a burning desire to tell the truth, but at the time I had no idea how”.
Peake’s first radio play, about the cyclist Beryl Burton, was broadcast last year. When asked whether she would like to pen another, she said that she “didn’t hesitate” to suggest the occupation of Parkside Colliery at Newton-le-Willows in 1993, led by Arthur Scargill’s then wife.
Queens Of The Coal Age will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at 2.15pm on Monday November 4.
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