Maxine Peake, the respected English star of stage and screen, speaks quietly and precisely about what drew her to Julia Leigh’s play Avalanche: A Love Story. Adapted from the Australian writer and director’s 2016 memoir, it sees its unnamed character undergo six unsuccessful rounds of IVF, laying bare the significant physical, mental and financial costs of assisted reproduction.

Maxine Peake Maxine Peake in  Avalanche at London’s Barbican Centre. Photo © The Other Richard

“I’d been through...

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