Lesley Manville stars in Hulu’s new drama, Harlots, as Lydia Quigley, The Lady Macbeth of brothel owners and rival of Margaret Wells. Manville is a multi-award winning stage, screen and television actress. In film, she has worked extensively with Mike Leigh, most notable in ANOTHER YEAR for which she won the NBR and London Critics Circle Best Actress awards and received a BAFTA nomination. Manville also received great acclaim for roles in ALL OR NOTHING, MR. TURNER, TOPSY TURVY, and SECRETS AND LIES. In television, Manville’s credits include River, Mum, The Go-Between, Cranford and North and Sound.
Lydia Quigley is Margaret’s rival. The Lady Macbeth of brothel keepers. She runs a lavish seraglio in Soho, full of wellDgroomed girls with the kind of accomplishments normally reserved for highDclass young ladies. Her brothel is not a happy place to work; she keeps her girls locked in. But her clients are from the highest echelons of society and walk the corridors of power.
Lydia has a decades old feud with Margaret, which reignites when our story starts. The harder Margaret tries to climb up, the more Lydia is determined to keep her down. Her loathing knows no bounds. Lydia’s Achilles heel is her spoilt and dissolute son, Charles. Disaster comes to her in the form of her conscience.