Lesley Manville Lights Up The Screen As Susan Ryeland

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Lesley Manville is in high demand lately for her excellent work on screen, so it seems only fitting that she come to the MASTERPIECE screen in the role of brilliant editor Susan Ryeland in the twisty mystery of Magpie Murders. Manville explores what drew her to the role, and where she stands in her storied career.

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Jace Lacob: I’m Jace Lacob, and you’re listening to MASTERPIECE Studio.

If you’ve listened to this podcast with any regularity, you know I’m quick to praise many of the storied talents who appear on our MASTERPIECE programs.


Katie You never liked him, did you?

Susan Oh, he was a complete pain in the arse. Every dot. Every comma. I mean, I know a lot of authors are protective of their work but with Alan it was like I was trying to rewrite the Bible. He took against me at our very first meeting so from then on we only ever communicated by email.

Jace But I promise you this — when I call Lesley Manville remarkable, I truly mean it.


Locke You were visiting Claire Jenkins.

Susan Yes, because she used to be his secretary. She did all his typing for him. I thought she might have a copy. How about you?

Locke I’m sorry?

Susan If you’re so sure Alan committed suicide, why are you still investigating?

Locke I’m not. 

Jace An Academy Award-nominated actress of great renown, her already dazzling career has hit new heights this year — so it feels only fitting she make a stop on MASTERPIECE’s Magpie Murders as the similarly indomitable Susan Ryeland. Ryeland isn’t used to being in the spotlight — she’s left that to her best-selling author Alan Conway. But when Conway appears to have killed himself and his latest murder mystery manuscript is missing its final chapter, Susan begins her own investigation to uncover the missing pages… and the truth.


James This is where he kept his notebooks, but they don’t seem to be here.

Susan Has anyone else been in the room?

James Only the police. You know he always wrote his first drafts by hand.

Susan Yeah.

James He liked expensive pens. They’ve gone.

Susan The pens?

James No, the notes.

Susan Yeah, there’s nothing on here either. No files. Nothing.

Jace The star of such films as Phantom Thread, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, and Another Year — and soon to be seen on the upcoming season of The Crown — Manville joins us to discuss Susan, Mum, and so much more.

And this week, we are joined by Magpie Murders star and executive producer Lesley Manville. Welcome.

Lesley Manville Hello. Thank you very much.

Jace So you’ve played so many amazing characters over the course of your career. Cyrill in Phantom Thread, Cathy in Mum, Robina Chase in World on Fire, Ada Harris in Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris to name but a few. What was it about the role of Susan Ryeland that specifically attracted you to Magpie Murders?

Lesley Well, I mean, it is my stock answer, really, but it’s my stock answer with good reason. It’s because it’s the truth. It’s the script, really. I mean, of course, Anthony’s kudos as a novelist goes, is unrivaled. You know, he’s a brilliant, brilliant novelist. But he wrote a really, really excellent six episodes for the books in a way that I thought was probably pretty impossible to do because, as you know, the book is divided into sort of two very clear sections. And I was thinking, ‘Well, how on earth do you ever manage to merge those two stories to make one sort of cohesive, whole six episodes?’ And he’s done it so brilliantly. It’s a great story, there’s lots of what ifs, cliffhangers. But I suppose primarily, given that you’re quite right, I do get offered some brilliant characters to play and I like to mix it up. I like to be a chameleon. I like to play women from different social structures, women of different type, but that’s what gives me a buzz about my work. What I loved about Susan was that she was, I suppose, quite an unconventional woman. She’s not conforming to any rules about how one should live their lives when you are a mature woman, she’s chosen not to be married. She’s chosen not to have children. She wants to drive her red sports car. She’s got a brilliant mind. She wants to wear nice clothes. So there’s contradictions about her, which I enjoyed discovering and certainly enjoyed playing. So it’s a cocktail of all of those things, really. And then I did want to be involved in it in an executive producing capacity so that I could just have my finger in the pie really with casting choices and possibly DOPs and, and directors because I think because it was some years ago now obviously when Jill Green, the producer, and Anthony Horowitz came to me asking me if I would be I would attach myself to the project. There were no scripts at the time. There was obviously just the novel to read. So Peter Cattaneo, our wonderful director, came to the whole process later. So I just sort of wanted to make sure that there I was leading a series that with my name at the helm of it all and just, you know, wanted to have my say really, with other creatives on the team.

Jace I want to unpack a couple of things that you said there. I mean, yes, you are an executive producer on Magpie Murders after producing and starring in Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris.

Lesley Yeah.

Jace I am curious how taking on that role on top of acting suited you, having, as you say, that creative input in the process?

Lesley Well, in a way my involvement as an executive producer demands my attention, really, before we start shooting. It’s a kind of preparatory part of the whole shoot. So it’s not a day-to-day thing. Once I’m up and running and shooting and, you know, my involvement, I was always very clear that why I wanted to be an executive producer was to help with the set-up of the creative team and actors. It isn’t to go out and raise money. It isn’t to do any of the day-to-day chores of being a producer, because of course I’m wearing my acting hat by that point. So it was just to have a hand in, you know, who the other actors were going to be and who might direct. So it was all of that was really done and dealt with before we started shooting.

Jace You use the word ‘unconventional’ to describe Susan Ryeland. And I do think you excel at playing unconventional women who clash against the conventional. Do you think that that’s a commonality to the roles that you seek out?

Lesley Um. I guess so, yes. I guess I am looking for people who are perhaps unconventional. But it’s always character driven. And they might not always be unconventional, but I try to play people who have got something about them that is slightly a break from the norm. So I suppose that is unconventional, isn’t it? That I’m using the same language. Yeah, I guess I do, really, I guess I do. It is a theme, well spotted. I mean, although I have to say, I think with Susan Ryeland, I’m calling her unconventional, but I do think women like her are less unconventional than they might have been 20, 30 years ago. You know, I know many women who are career women who are over 50, over 60 still forging ahead with a very active career path and who have chosen not to be married and have chosen not to have children. And I sort of, I don’t really see them as unconventional, although I think that was the word I used to describe Susan Ryeland. But I’m happy to say I think women who are choosing that lifestyle now, that’s the life they’ve chosen. It’s, they’re not stigmatized in any way or labeled so much. It’s that’s just a choice that they’ve made. And nobody kind of shirks at it anymore or thinks of it as strange.


Susan How did you meet?

James Internet. There’s a website I used. Rentboys. I charge three hundred quid an hour. I hope that doesn’t shock you.

Susan Not at all.

James He was still married at the time. I was just a commodity. And then, you know, one thing led to another and…

Susan And now you get everything.

James Did Khan tell you that?

Susan He mentioned that Alan was thinking of changing his will.

James Ah. That’s outrageous. Whatever happened to client confidentiality?

Susan He didn’t say anything else.

James Well, why should I deny it? Yes! I get everything. Do you think that’s why I pushed Alan off the tower? To stop him signing the new will?

Susan (gasps)

James I suppose I could have done that. I’ll show you if you like.

Susan Sure.

Jace You mentioned putting on different hats, so I’m going to put on my truth hat here for a moment. When I read the book for Magpie Murders, I thought that it was incredible, an amazing sort of meta text. And I found it to be potentially unadaptable, and I didn’t know how Anthony would be able to do it. But in watching these episodes and the first series, he has pulled it off seemingly so effortlessly, though I know there was an incredible amount of effort over two years. What were your concerns going in about him translating the book within a book format for the screen?

Lesley Yes. Well, I wasn’t concerned at all. I mean, I met them, as I say, some years ago now. And the scripts weren’t written. And I knew it was a complex issue and I knew that he was going to try and marry these two worlds so that there would be the only crossover of the two worlds that you have is with Susan Ryeland and Atticus. So it’s I kind of just thought, ‘Yeah, he’ll sort it out. I mean, he’s going to deliver this. He’s going to find a way of doing it.’ But then, of course, the other the other nod that we have to give is, it’s one thing writing it. And when he delivered these scripts, I was just bowled over with what he’d done with it, but then you do have to have a pretty good visionary director to pull it off. And Peter Cattaneo came with such a clear vision of how to take what Anthony had put on the page and make that work for the audience and sell it as this wonderful crossover of these two periods and these two different, but linked stories. And much credit goes to Peter Cattaneo as well. And also, I want to throw in a nod slightly going off the subject, but to the graphics department, I think the opening graphics, the title of the series is absolutely wonderful and just sets the tone for it brilliantly. It’s just wonderfully modern, but fantastically retro and not of this time as well. So it’s terrific. So, you know, it takes all teams really to bring things together. But yeah, I was pretty amazed with what Anthony managed to achieve. I mean, I don’t think anyone else could have done it really, if he’d have handed it over to another writer, because he must know that book — well, obviously he does — but that’s why you couldn’t hand it over to another writer is because they hadn’t written the book so they could not be so intrinsically knowledgeable about it, about the very fabric of it in the way that Anthony was. So he was the perfect person to do the adaptation. It’s clever stuff, isn’t it?

Jace Oh, I mean, it helps that he’s a genius for sure.

Lesley It certainly does. I only work with geniuses, you know.

Jace Before this next question, a quick word from our sponsors…

We are introduced to Susan at the start of Magpie Murders as she arrives at the Frankfurt Book Festival and her phone is ringing as she goes through security. She apologizes in German before changing her shoes, à la Working Girl, which I thought was such a great touch.

Lesley Changes her shoes whilst going up a moving escalator as well.

Jace She can multitask like no one else, Susan Ryeland.

Lesley You see? That’s it. We hit the ground running. We thought, if they watch this and they say, ‘Oh, my God, she’s changing her shoes on the escalator! But this woman can multitask. We’re in good hands.’


Guard Halt, halt, halt.

Susan What?

Guard Stop, stop.

Susan What?

Guard Your phone.

Susan Ah. Hi, Charles. No. I’m…I’m at the book fair. Yesterday was…

Guard Please!

Susan …wall-to-wall, so, and I’ve got Klaus at nine, so can I call you back later? Yeah. Okay. Bye. Bye. Entschuldigung. Ich, ich habe vergessen…dass es in der Tasche war.

Jace I mean, she’s such an interesting character to me. Her life is about a singular passion for books, which she loves, but she seems to love everything else at such a distance, including her partner, Andreas. So what do you make of that duality within Susan Ryeland?

Lesley Well, I suppose I understand it. You know, I, Yeah. I mean, Susan, unlike me, hasn’t had a child. So obviously my big passion in my life is, was and is my, my child. And I think when you’ve been in that situation, when you when you are a mother, it’s it that pervades everything but everything else is a bit at a distance with Susan, but I don’t think we should see that as a negative. Those are the choices she’s made. And I think she feels that in order for her, in order to be the editor that she wants to be, she needs to make that a priority in her life. Now, as the series goes on, you do see her, or there’s a hint at the end of the series about where she might go with those feelings and how she may or may not waver from that. But I think she — it’s her comfort zone. It’s where she feels that she functions best. You know, she’s a woman who just, she does want to love and she does want to have a relationship with Andreas. But she just doesn’t want it, you know, 9 to 5, 24/7. Every dinner’s got to be with Andreas. She’s got to wake up every morning with Andreas. And every time she goes to see a movie, it’s got to be with Andreas. You know, she wants to be this free-spirited woman and she’s made the choice not to have children. So that’s a very deliberate thing that does leave you free to explore other avenues of your life. And in a way, I guess those other avenues become your passion, become your child, as it were.

Jace We later see that Susan’s life is strikingly contrasted with that of her sister, Katie, who’s married with kids and living in the countryside. Katie, played by Claire Rushbrook, making this sort of informal Secrets and Lies reunion of sorts. How did you and Claire work to achieve that familiarity and tension of that sibling bond?

Lesley Well, you’re quite right. Claire and I were in both and Secrets and Lies. But I didn’t do anything with her in that. I mean, I was a kind, of I won’t go up the avenue, but I was a sort of a later addition to Secrets and Lies. I was never meant to be in it. So I didn’t meet or work with Claire then, but I did– I have met her over the years since then, and we’ve always adored each other but never worked together. And actually, a brilliant thing happened after Magpie Murders, we both did a series that’s been on the BBC recently called Sherwood, and we played sisters in that as well. So very, very different kinds of sisters and very different kinds of women. But so, yes, she’s my go to sister at the moment. Well, you see, it’s very difficult when you set, when people say, ‘How do you create that relationship?’ Well, it is a difficult one to get your head around. And it’s something people said to me a lot when I made a film a few years ago with Liam Neeson called Ordinary Love, and it’s about a couple who’ve been married for 30 odd years. And together they have to navigate the huge shock of the woman getting breast cancer. And it is a film that’s partly about the horrors of breast cancer and how difficult that can be and how devastating it can be. But it is also an examination of a marriage and what something as catastrophic as that does to a marriage and a marriage that’s a good marriage. And people used to say to Liam and I, ‘You are so believable as this married couple. How did you do that?’ And in a way, there’s no answer. And it’s the same with Claire and I, because I remember the first day of shooting with Liam and with Claire, you look at each other and I said to Liam, ‘Right, here we go. Thirty years of marriage,’ and action, you know, and it’s you can either just do it because the other actor is fabulous and wonderful and you’re very comfortable with them. And then it just comes down to some decent acting. And I know that sounds a bit lightweight as an answer, but I think it’s the truth. I mean, obviously, Claire and I talked about the sisters and we talked to Anthony about them. And, you know, a lot of it was on the page. You could see very clearly that these two women had very different lifestyle choices. And you could see that fundamentally they were very different women as siblings often are. But in a way, you know what? You talk about the basics, what the parents were like and what the childhood was like and all of that and the rest of it. You just have to go, ‘Right? Okay. I’m in the hands of a rather good actor here. Thank God it’s Claire Rushbrook. Thank God it’s Liam Neeson. Let’s just hope for the best.’ So, you know, that’s that’s all you can do, really.

Jace Susan, like, Alan Conway has a familiarity with Atticus Pünd. As his editor, she spent quite a lot of time with Pünd rattling around in her head over the last few years. How did you come to view Magpie’s use of Pünd as a narrative device here? Do you see Pünd as being Susan’s subconscious, acting as a form of Dante’s Virgil guiding her onwards? How did you sort of come to terms with Pünd?

Lesley Oh, my goodness, my goodness. That’s an elaborate summarizing of that. It’s very brilliant what you’ve just said. I think they’re each other’s narration, each other’s subconscious, really. He comes into it the first time she sees him, is, I think it’s when she’s staying overnight at her sister’s house. He appears to her and. And you have to kind of see it for what it is. But he’s there giving her the clues. He’s pointing her, he’s giving her hints and pointing her in the right direction to solving the crime and letting her know that, you know, that’s the way to solve this is it’s through the book. It is only through the book that she’s going to find out  who the murderer is.


Susan There was a letter.

Pünd You were told that it was a suicide letter and that is how you read it. Perhaps you should read it again.

Susan But if it wasn’t an accident then it wasn’t suicide.

Pünd He argued with his neighbor. He was about to change his will. He insulted his sister. He left his wife for a young man. Everyone who read Alan Conway loved him. Everyone who met him did not.

Susan So…

Pünd Just three possibilities. Consider the third.

Susan And I hope I think, you know, real fans of Antony’s writing will, I think I think there’s going to be a lot of ‘Wow’ factor about what he’s done with the script and how we’ve shot it and what we’ve done with that particular bit of the story, which is, of course, not what people would have got from reading the novel at all. So I hope, it is a kind of mystery like no other, isn’t it? It’s terrifically clever. And I think the audience for mysteries like this, crime mysteries, murder mysteries, they’re a particular type of audience. So, you know, they’re already interested in twists and odd things happening and unusual things happening and avenues being taken that you weren’t expecting. So I hope that this comes as a complete surprise, but a delightful surprise to them the way it will be navigated.

Jace There’s something to be said about the editor as detective, which I love here, as well, as a former editor myself. An editor takes the pieces of a puzzle and assembles them together so they make sense, much as a detective does, with a crime.

Lesley Yes. Yes.

Jace Do you think that this is a fitting use of Susan’s talents, then, using her incisive eye to find the flaw and correct it?

Lesley Yes, I think I think that, you know, she’s got a great forensic mind and she’s used to picking apart books and narratives and clues and characters. So, I think it’s a very interesting transition for her. I also think that women make very good detectives. Personally, I think they have a kind of sideways view of things often, which I find very interesting. I mean, that’s not a blanket notion that I have there. But I do think women are very clever at pulling things apart and understanding them. So I, yeah, I can see that it’s quite a natural progression for her, but also because, you know, Pünd does say to her, ‘The answer’s in the book.’ She gets that massive clue from him, you know, ‘This is where you’re going to find your answers. It’s all in the book.’ But of course, the most annoying thing is that the last chapter of the book is missing. So that’s why it becomes for her a mission to find out what’s happened to the missing chapter.

Jace Despite this being a television series, there’s a huge weight to the role of the novel in the narrative. And episode two does end, as we say with “the answer’s in the book.” Do you see Magpie Murders as being ultimately a love letter to mystery novels?

Lesley Oh, well, you see, I think yes. But I have to preface all of this by saying that I’m not a reader of mystery novels, at all. Personally, it’s just not my thing. I imagine if you do, if mystery novels crime novels are your thing, this epitomizes it, doesn’t it? And because  it’s a book within a book. It’s a crime within a crime. Just when you think you’ve solved one murder, what does that tell you about the other one? How you’re going to solve that? You know, it’s so it’s fantastically layered. I mean, you’ve really got to have your wits about you watching it. I mean, it’s absolutely wonderful. But for that brain, that mind that loves a mystery, it’s perfect. And I think it’s very unlike the kind of mysteries, murder mysteries that are on television, generally speaking, because it’s it’s it’s complex and edgy and unusual. Yeah

Jace It’s quite unusual.

Lesley It is. It is quite unusual. And I love it for that. It’s what drew me to it. You know, it’s it’s that’s that unique. I mean, anybody who knows my work would probably think, ‘Lesley’s not likely to just go and want to do a conventional TV murder mystery drama,’ and they’d be right. I wouldn’t. But obviously, I was keen to do Magpie Murders because it doesn’t tick all those boxes that you imagine being ticked for a murder mystery. It ticks its own boxes. It’s more, for my money, more interesting boxes. And yeah, that absolutely made me want to come out and play with it, really.

Jace I am obsessed with Mum, which moves deftly from humor to heartbreak and back again for a series about grief it somehow celebrates life in all its messiness and snappiness.

Lesley Yes.

Jace So beautifully with a few years distance now. What did Mum mean to you and were you surprised by how much it was embraced by critics and viewers alike?

Lesley Mum came to me through a wonderful director called Richard Laxton, who I’d worked with, and he said, ‘Look, I’m going to direct this comedy series.’ And I said, ‘Oh, I really can’t do that. I can’t. I can’t, do you know. Oh, here comes the funny line. And then you’ve got to deliver this funny line. And I said, I can’t. I can’t do it. I can’t do it.’ He said, ‘No, but it’s not like that.’ He said, ‘It’s it is funny, but it’s we need all of the cast just to play these characters. And it will be funny because you’re just playing them. There’s no, you know, it’s not big and cheesy. There’s nothing that needs to be sold in terms of the comedy.’ Anyway, he gave me Stefan Golaszewski, who wrote Mum and indeed went on to direct seasons two and three of it. I wasn’t familiar with his work, so Richard had directed some of his previous television. So he said, Look, I’m going to send you a series that they both worked on called “Him and Her.” And I watched it and I saw exactly what he meant. And what that job means to me is I can’t I can almost not put it into words. I mean. Quite uniquely, the eight of us in it became so close and remain so close. And, you know, I work with lots of people all the time, different people. Every job brings a new bunch of people. But you can’t put them all in your pocket and take them with you. So occasionally you might meet one that gets in your phone contacts and stays there. But on Mum, it was the biggest love fest of eight people. And I think that that helped us to create this wonderful, heartbreaking, but nevertheless darkly wryly funny series and the delicacy of it. And that’s all credit to Richard and to Stefan. You know, they absolutely steered all of us in the right direction as to the level of playing of all of the characters. And I knew when we were doing it that it was, again, the feel of it is so unique and I don’t know how you label it because it isn’t just a comedy series and it isn’t just a drama. So it’s in this unique pocket all on its own. And I like that as well. But what a wonderful story about these, at the center, of course, you’ve got Cathy and Michael, and they’re finding love so slowly and tentatively. And to have a love story about people of that age, you know, is just, just wonderful.

Jace On the topic of age, you signed the Acting Your Age petition. What do you hope comes from this in terms of securing better opportunities for female actors in film?

Lesley Well, I think the whole shift is happening. It’s been too slow. It’s been way too slow. But it’s gathering momentum. I want people to see older women as interesting, vibrant, with stories to tell. Not just appendages. You know, women of my age are still interested in breaking new ground, having fulfilled lives, having fulfilled careers, having romance, having wild times. Stop just saying, you know, ‘Well, you’re that age, so therefore you have to behave in this way.’ But that’s in a way just that’s just kind of about the characters that get written for us, that what there needs to be is a greater amount of stories that are led by women and telling the female story. But I do think it’s happening. I really do. I think there’s a lot of noise about it’s not happening enough, but, you know, I can bemoan the pace with which women are liberated easily, because let’s face it, this has been going on for centuries, so nobody’s expecting anything to happen overnight. But genuinely, when you look at the amount of television that’s on now and films where women are put at the forefront, it is really getting better. And with characters like Susan Ryeland, like Cathy in Mum and lots of the other characters that I’ve played there. There are women who are on their own private journeys, but making sure that they live their life according to their own rules.

Jace Finally, your career has been on such a meteoric rise for some time now. You’re one of the most busy, in-demand actors of our time. You’re in Magpie Murders. You’re in Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, you’re in The Crown. Do you ever feel like you’ve ‘made it’ — and I’m saying that in sort of air quotes here — or is the life of a professional actor just forever focusing on landing that next role?

Lesley I think there are moments when you think, ‘This is good.’ I don’t think I’ve ever thought I’ve made it because I don’t quite, I don’t quite relate to that as a sentence, as a statement, but that there certainly are times when I’ve thought, ‘Oh, well, this is really good.’ And it’s always when something interesting comes along. I mean, not recently, but earlier this year, I was presented with the opportunity of working with Alfonso Cuaron on his Apple series called Disclaimer and. You know, I had a moment. I just thought, ‘Wow, this is a director I love, like when I was asked to work with Paul Thomas Anderson, this is a director that I’ve watched and revered for years. And now I’m being asked to work with him.’ So I have those moments of going, ‘Well, you’ve done all right, girl, really, you’ve done, this is going okay. This is a good day. This is going in the direction that I could, you know, a long time ago, I could have only, only dreamed of.’ So it’s the fact that these kind of things are a reality. You know, they do make me think, ‘Yes. Okay, I see it. I see that directors of this caliber want to work with me.’ So that gives me an enormous sense of self-pride. You know, I celebrate all of these things very quietly. You know, I’m a very private person and I can take all these huge achievements which I had along the way and recently, as you quite rightly point out, are more frequent. And they are such a personal triumph to me, because in a way, like the movement of women over the centuries, my trajectory has been slow, which is the only way I would have wanted it. I wouldn’t have wanted to have been hugely successful and flavor of the month in my twenties and thirties because it’s very difficult to sustain and I wouldn’t have wanted to be quote unquote, ‘famous’ at that time either, because it would have probably meant I didn’t do all the amazing, interesting, groundbreaking theater work that I did and that all of the films that I made with Mike Leigh. But I’m really grateful for where it’s leading now, because I know that where it’s led to now is only a result of many decades of really fine projects that I’ve worked on. And I do pick my projects. That’s the only power an actor has. You get asked to do something, and the only power I have is to say yes or no. And I’ve said no inevitably to projects because they’re not right and they’re not interesting enough for me. And I know they’re not going to feed me creatively. But the fact that I’m getting asked to do things now that not only feed me, but give me the opportunity to collaborate with people who are and I don’t just mean directors, because I mean collaborating with Jenny Beavan, a three time Oscar-winning costume designer in Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris, who I happen to have worked with before for the BBC. Working with Amy Roberts now, costume designer of The Crown Geniuses, all of these departments. Absolutely brilliant. Mark Bridges, who won the Oscar for the costumes on Phantom Thread. You know, that whole journey I went on with him? Not only do I have Paul Thomas Anderson, I’ve got Mark Bridges every day. You know, it’s cream on top of cream on top of cream. So those experiences make me think, ‘Oh, yes. Okay, I’m really doing well.’ And it’s just private markers for me that it’s all going in the right direction. And I would not have wanted any of it to have come any quicker, really. Because I know that it’s come now because. You know, I know my work on Phantom Thread was good and people that gave me a much more universal platform and obviously, the reason I’m working with Alfonso Cuaron is because Alfonso will have watched Phantom Thread, and so I’ve been given these platforms, but because of my experience and my time and my the age that I am and my ability.  I haven’t messed up those opportunities. So they are now leading to more opportunities. So it is a golden time for me, and I’m grateful and I don’t take it lightly.

Jace Lesley Manville, thank you so very much.

Lesley Thank you.

Jace In our triple title autumn of Mystery!, it can be hard to pick a favorite leading lady. But Victorian-era London’s only female detective Eliza Scarlet knows she’s already caught your attention.


Phelps Last night someone smashed the window of the city mortuary and broke in. They then gained access to the clerical office inside and stole some highly confidential files.

Eliza Well if that is true then it is both deplorable and a disgrace.

Phelps Words shared by the Clerk of the mortuary Mr Potts, although in his case used to describe you, rather than the situation.

Eliza I know that man’s opinion of me…

Phelps “An unscrupulous woman who is as trustworthy as a bag of snakes.”

Jace We speak with Miss Scarlet and the Duke creator Rachael New next on the podcast, October 30.

MASTERPIECE Studio is hosted by me, Jace Lacob, produced by Nick Andersen and edited by Robyn Bissette. Elisheba Ittoop is our sound designer. The executive producer of MASTERPIECE is Susanne Simpson.



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