Friday 20 January 2017

Irish actress Denise moves from applying for cleaning jobs to star in new BBC drama

Published 29/09/2016 | 07:38

Actress Denise Gough. Photo: Ellie Kurttz
Actress Denise Gough. Photo: Ellie Kurttz
Denise Gough with the award for Best Actress for People, Places and Things. Photo: PA
Denise Gough as Barbara Marten in People, Places and Things by Duncan Macmillan. Photo: Johan Persson.

Last year, Irish actress Denise Gough was dreaming of landing her big break while applying for cleaning jobs.

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Fast forward 18 months and not only has the Wexford woman picked up the Best Actress gong at the prestigious 2016 Laurence Olivier Awards, but now she's landed the lead role in a BBC drama.

Denise is to star in Dublin playwright Conor MacPherson's new revenge thriller, Paula.

She will be joined on screen by Irish actor Owen McDonnell - who previously appeared in the acclaimed An Klondike.

Denise Gough with the award for Best Actress for People, Places and Things. Photo: PA
Denise Gough with the award for Best Actress for People, Places and Things. Photo: PA

Victoria star Tom Hughes, who plays Prince Albert in the period drama, will take on the lead male role.

The plot centres on chemistry teacher Paula (Gough) who has to deal with life after a one-night-stand with a good-looking but dangerous "ducker and diver" (Hughes).

The three-part BBC 2 series will be filmed in Belfast and directed by Alex Holmes, who was behind the 2008 TV mini-series House of Saddam.

Denise won a prestigious Laurence Olivier award for her performance in People, Places and Things in London's West End after beating competition from Nicole Kidman. As she collected her award she spoke of the challenges actors face.

Denise Gough as Barbara Marten in People, Places and Things by Duncan Macmillan. Photo: Johan Persson.
Denise Gough as Barbara Marten in People, Places and Things by Duncan Macmillan. Photo: Johan Persson.

"I had a year out of work before this job... I applied to be a cleaner this time last year... That's the truth for many jobbing actors and actresses," she said.

Gough has described her character Paula as "a brilliantly complex woman".

Having previously starred in McPherson's adaptation of The Birds at Dublin's Gate Theatre, "I am so excited to work with McPherson again on this amazing project. He's written a script that I know all of us involved feel very privileged to be part of bringing to life. I can't wait to play her."

Herald

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