THE PAIN OF LOVE IN SHAD­OWS

Herald Sun - Switched On - - ON THE BOX -

Playing a les­bian in con­ser­va­tive 1950s Bri­tain breaks Emer­ald Fen­nell’s heart most days.

The ac­tor por­trays Nurse Patsy Mount, in a se­cret re­la­tion­ship with her col­league Delia Busby, in the hit series Call The Mid­wife.

Since tak­ing on the com­plex sto­ry­line, Fen­nell has dis­cov­ered the re­al­ity of a sit­u­a­tion for women like Patsy.

“The heart­break of lov­ing some­one in se­cret, of not be­ing able to look at each other for 95 per cent of the day, it’s kind of bleak,” she says.

“The toll that takes on a re­la­tion­ship, not be­ing ac­cepted in pub­lic, must be wear­ing. And I learnt that it wasn’t ac­tu­ally il­le­gal to be a les­bian — it was to be a gay man, but not a les­bian sim­ply be­cause peo­ple didn’t be­lieve it.”

But the sixth season sees the mid­wives of Non­na­tus House usher in a decade of change.

“We’re hear­ing the siren call of the 1960s and the world is chang­ing, whether they like it or not,” Fen­nell says.

“There will al­ways be tri­als and tribu­la­tions but there’s some ex­cit­ing stuff com­ing for ev­ery­one.”

While change tends to reach the mid­wives last, it’s be­com­ing “un­de­ni­able”, set­ting the tone of the new season.

WATCH CALL THE MID­WIFE, BBC FIRST, TUES­DAY, 7.30PM

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