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Interview of "Luther" co-star, Maxine Peakes, from What's On In London
thanks, Nadine!

LUTHER IN LOVE..Cover story, Interview Oliver Jones

Actress Maxine Peake talks about her role in the National's major revival of John Osborne's Luther - the tale of the man who set the Protestant reformation in motion.

 

"Its been great working with the likes of Rufus Sewell and Richard Griffiths. We've just done the first run through today and they're fantastic to watch. I play the only female part in the play - Katherine, Luther's wife. It feels quite strange being the token woman. The play itself feels very unusual - its a set of duologues and monologues. there's never really more than two people on the stage at a time, its like lots of playlets that make up the story of Luther's life. I come on towards the end, to give it a happy ending, really. There's a very short marriage ceremony, and then Luther and Katherine settle into domesticity in the monastery where he studied and spent most of his life. They've got this huge place that was full of men and now its just a couple with children!

 

Luther is a very much a flawed hero, he's only human after all. But you do have a lot of sympathy with him. Especially the way Rufus portrays him. It's very a very moving performance. You can see the attraction of this man and why people followed him, he was very charismatic, very intense and a great believer in his teachings. I'm not religious and I wont say I agree with some of his philosophies, but you admire him, fighting against the Catholic Church of the day.

 

"The play is very relevant to today, especially after recent world events. Its about religion and the trouble that different faiths and factions within faiths have caused over the years. But it's also just a great play and fascinating. It's more like a really interesting "biog" of a great man in history.

 

"We've also got a very grand set. Making the most of the huge space in the Olivier to get the sense of the vast halls and monasteries, all these big rooms with big men in them. Alison Chitty has designed it, she's fantastic. And the costumes are very sumptuous too. It will look very beautiful.

 

"The reason I am doing this show is that I am in The Relapse which is running along side and when the part was on offer, I thought "you dont often get a chance to do plays in rep, side by side these days". I thought it might be interesting, even if its not the biggest part in the world. I only left RADA a few years ago. My first job was on a sitcom called Dinner Ladies, I played Twinkle the youngest, stroppy one. Then I went into the West End to do the Thelma Holt produced Miss Julie with Christopher Eccleston. And for nearly two years I've been at the National playing in The Cherry Orchard with the Redgraves and as Brian Blessed wayward country daughter in The Relapse. When I finish here in Nov, it's back to the world of unemployment. But I am not panicking too much. I think it might be nice to have a break.

 

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