Maxine Peake wins Diggers award

Maxine Peake at the Peterloo Massacre Memorial event.

The Wigan Diggers Festival Award

First published in News

BOLTON actress Maxine Peake is being honoured with another award.

The star of the BBC law drama, Silk, has been given the Wigan Diggers Festival Award for her “outstanding contribution to the cause of making the Earth a common treasury for all”.

The Diggers Festival celebrates the life and ideas of Wigan born and bred Gerrard Winstanley and the 17th Century Diggers’, who were a group of socialists.

And Maxine’s award comes after Bolton Socialist Club gave her an honorary life membership for her “outstanding contribution to socialism”.

Stephen Hall, of the Diggers’ committee, said: “Maxine Peake is someone who has remained true to her socialist principles.

“Despite her growing fame as an actress, she has never lost touch with her working class roots. Instead, she has used her notoriety and work as an actor to speak out against the government’s ‘crippling austerity measures’, and to support protests against them.

“She has also helped, in recent years, to revive interest in the annual Peterloo Massacre commemoration event in Manchester, is a trustee of the Working Class Movement Library in Salford and supports numerous other progressive causes.”

The actress, who will star in Hamlet at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester from next week, even served behind the bar at the second Diggers’ Festival.

It is only the second time the award has been presented. Last year the winner was the late Tony Benn.

Mr Hall said: “We decided to present her with our own version of an Oscar in the shape of our annual Gerrard Winstanley Spade Award, the first one of which we presented to veteran Labour MP Tony Benn last year.”

Maxine, who has starred in The Village, Shameless and Dinnerladies, is unable to attend the festival this year due to acting commitments and will be presented with the honour at a later time.

The Diggers’ Festival takes place between 11am and 9.30pm at The Wiend in Wigan on Saturday, September 13.

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