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Maxine Peake to play Martha Costello QC-style role in new animated short film

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Star of legal drama Silk is back as you’ve never seen her before

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Maxine Peake, the actress who plays Martha Costello in Silk, is to do the voiceover for a character reminiscent of the fictional top QC in a new animated film about legal aid superheroes.

‘Legal Aid Team’ — which will premiere on the Guardian website in April — features a host of cartoon lawyer-superhero hybrids, among whom is ‘Red Lawyer’ (pictured above), the Costello-like character.

Peake has won real-life lawyers’ respect by campaigning actively against the government’s cuts to the legal aid budget, appearing at the demonstration at Westminster last year (pictured below) and last month at the protests outside the Global Law Summit.

The actress — who is reported to be set to star in a US version of Silk later this year — joins comedians Kevin Eldon and Angela Barnes as the voices for the superheroes, with further big names set to be announced.

Fred Grace, the producer of the film, told Legal Cheek:

“We’re aiming to put the cuts to legal aid on the agenda before the general election as we think that they’ve largely been done under a cloak of boredom that has prevented people from outside the legal profession from taking an interest in something that will have serious repercussions for the justice system in this country.”

He went on to provide some background about Legal Aid Team:

“We’re delighted to have Maxine Peake on board to play one of the legal aid team. We wrote this script over a year ago with the premise that legal aid lawyers are heroes so why not make them into superheroes. As a long time supporter of Justice Alliance. She has come on in the last few weeks to add her weight to the campaign and play one of the superhero team fighting to save legal aid.”

As the company behind the production, Fat Rat Films, put the finishing touches to the video ahead of its 1 April launch, it is looking to secure funding to help with the costs of its project. Its funding page is here.