Hi everyone and welcome to this short but interesting piece that was first broadcast on BBC radio 4 in 2014.

As always the boring  bits first;

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This is the info that was alongside the broadcast. Shaun was one of many actors on the show.

Portraying Real Lives

Actress Maxine Peake meets with actors and, in a series of one to one conversations, discusses the challenges of portraying the real-life character as opposed to the fictional.

Maxine Peake has tackled many factual roles, including Tracey Temple in Confessions of a Diary Secretary, Joan le Mesurier in Hancock and Joan, the title role in The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, Anne Scargill in Queens of the Coal Age, Stephen Hawking’s secretary in the 2015 film The Theory of Everything, and her infamous portrayal of Myra Hindley in See No Evil.

Most actors will only face a critical backlash if their portrayal of King Lear or Jimmy Porter does not meet expectation, but what happens if their subject is real? How does this change the actor’s approach to the character research, is it better or worse to meet them, does this restrict the boundaries or increase the empathy? And what happens if that character is regarded as evil in the public psyche?

In discussion with friends and colleagues such as Michael Sheen, Sally Hawkins, Patricia Hodge, Monica Dolan, Shaun Evans and Anne Scargill we discover how different the approach can and has to be.

Producer: Elizabeth Foster.


Author: Chris Sullivan

After having looked after my mum for some 11 years she is now unfortunately in a nursing home. I'm afraid her dementia worsened as did her physical capabilities. UPDATE: My mum died from Covid-19 on the 6th May 2020. So, for the first time in 21 years I find myself no longer caring for anyone. Apart from my mum I was also a single parent to two children and also looked after my dad who had Alzheimers, (he died in 2005). So, I have decided to return to University to try and get another degree this time in English Literature. (My other degree I got some 30 years ago is one in Ecological Science). After a year at college I have passed all grades and now will start Edinburgh University in September 2019. I am now in second year having passed all the requirements in first year.

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