THE PAIN OF LOVE IN SHADOWS
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