Saturday, 1 February 2014

Leigh's Ladies : Lesley Manville

Lesley Manville

Number of filmed Leigh projects: Seven (plus the 1979 radio play Too Much of a Good Thing) from '79 to the present day.

Manville shares the same rate of Leigh work as his former wife Alison Steadman, as such she's an extremely important figure in his oeuvre. Another perfect chameleon with exceptional range, no two performances are alike; from 1988's High Hopes council house buying frightfully posh Yuppie to the 'put-on-a-happy-face' depressive alcoholic in 2010's Another Year she is extremely hard to pin down and a joy to watch.

"Until I met Mike in my 20s,  I played myself all the time" Manville admitted in 2010, as evinced by her debut in the radio play in which she played an overweight woman in the way that only a radio performance could do. "Now, thanks to him, I never get typecast. No one says Lesley only does depressed...or working class...or posh"

She's come along way from her first steps as a regular in Emmerdale Farm in the mid 70s

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