About

Telling the truth with heart and humour

I’ve been a professional actress for 25 years, but my parents will tell you that I was a little Sarah Bernhardt from a very early age.

Since training at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, I’ve had some wonderful experiences. My early career was full of Shakespeare…. in schools, castles, on radio 4, the Bristol Old Vic and in a pub theatre with director Andrew Hilton (of Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory) . All that was a three year training in itself.

Other highlights include working at the National Theatre on two of Tennessee Williams unperformed plays…a real thrill to see his handwriting on the copies of his original manuscripts. I loved doing Sonnet Walks for Shakespeare’s Globe, using my voice for Manga cartoons and talking book versions of some Horrible Histories, having a one woman show written for me, working at Britain’s longest running weekly Rep and making my feature film debut alongside my 5 year old son.

Telling the truth with heart and humour

I’ve been a professional actress for 25 years, but my parents will tell you that I was a little Sarah Bernhardt from a very early age.

Since training at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, I’ve had some wonderful experiences. My early career was full of Shakespeare…. in schools, castles, on radio 4, the Bristol Old Vic and in a pub theatre with director Andrew Hilton (of Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory) . All that was a three year training in itself.

Other highlights include working at the National Theatre on two of Tennessee Williams unperformed plays…a real thrill to see his handwriting on the copies of his original manuscripts. I loved doing Sonnet Walks for Shakespeare’s Globe, using my voice for Manga cartoons and talking book versions of some Horrible Histories, having a one woman show written for me, working at Britain’s longest running weekly Rep and making my feature film debut alongside my 5 year old son.

I’ve also guested on several long running TV series, toured to rural village halls and No. 1 venues, done TV commercials, sketch comedy, music theatre, corporate videos and voiceovers, and recently did my first completely improvised role in the debut feature film of two German directors. An American business woman who, after a drunken night in a bar reveals herself as a British actress who for various reasons is terrified of playing the role of an American business woman the next day! Great fun and very liberating.

What links all of these disparate roles and different media is my love of getting to the heart of a story. Whether I am playing high farce for a packed audience or sitting with a psychiatrist portraying a severely depressed patient in a one to one consultation , I will always strive for the truth in the situation.

I once had a casting director say in slight surprise, “ You’re very….believable aren’t you?”

I nearly said…”Err, yes. That’s my job. What do other people come in and do then?”

* I got the job…you can see a bit in my showreel *

On screen, I am often cast as authority figures, doctors, police officers, stressed and uptight people with control issues ..I do a lot of crying.
“During shooting I was impressed by Nicola’s ability to remain utterly focused. Whenever the camera came to her, she seemed like Niobe, about to drown in her own tears “

However, I love doing comedy, especially twisty dry comedy that comes out of character as much as the situation.
“Her comic timing is excellent, she is creative and funny, and brings weight to a role.”

My absolutely favourite type of drama, on stage or on screen is one which takes the audience to a place where they are hooting with laughter only to have the story turn on its head and deliver a sucker punch….or to tell a story that brings heartfelt laughter through the tears. Visceral stories that remind us we are alive…Victoria Wood was a Master Craftswoman in this regard. Phoebe Waller Bridge’s recent hit, FLEABAG is devastatingly brilliant too.

I’ve also guested on several long running TV series, toured to rural village halls and No. 1 venues, done TV commercials, sketch comedy, music theatre, corporate videos and voiceovers, and recently did my first completely improvised role in the debut feature film of two German directors. An American business woman who, after a drunken night in a bar reveals herself as a British actress who for various reasons is terrified of playing the role of an American business woman the next day! Great fun and very liberating.

What links all of these disparate roles and different media is my love of getting to the heart of a story. Whether I am playing high farce for a packed audience or sitting with a psychiatrist portraying a severely depressed patient in a one to one consultation , I will always strive for the truth in the situation.

I once had a casting director say in slight surprise, “ You’re very….believable aren’t you?”

I nearly said…”Err, yes. That’s my job. What do other people come in and do then?”

* I got the job…you can see a bit in my showreel *

On screen, I am often cast as authority figures, doctors, police officers, stressed and uptight people with control issues ..I do a lot of crying.
“During shooting I was impressed by Nicola’s ability to remain utterly focused. Whenever the camera came to her, she seemed like Niobe, about to drown in her own tears “

However, I love doing comedy, especially twisty dry comedy that comes out of character as much as the situation.
“Her comic timing is excellent, she is creative and funny, and brings weight to a role.”

My absolutely favourite type of drama, on stage or on screen is one which takes the audience to a place where they are hooting with laughter only to have the story turn on its head and deliver a sucker punch….or to tell a story that brings heartfelt laughter through the tears. Visceral stories that remind us we are alive…Victoria Wood was a Master Craftswoman in this regard. Phoebe Waller Bridge’s recent hit, FLEABAG is devastatingly brilliant too.

So that is a bit about me. I am married to actor/writer/director Patrick Marlowe…I am very lucky to have made my return to the stage after having children, in his brilliant “ little gem “ The End of The Line. An absolute gift of a part for me, which ticked all the above boxes. We have two sons aged 12 and 9, who have unsurprisingly become accomplished performers already. My eldest has been on more West End stages than I have!

Have a look around and if you’d like to get in touch, feel free to drop me a line or get in contact with Joe Hutton at The bwhagency