6 of Our Favourite Notts Performances of All Time

Words: LeftLion Screen Team
Friday 21 April 2023
reading time: min, words

From The Last of Us to Without Sin, Nottingham actors are smashing it at every level and across every genre right now. But what are some of the best Notts performances of all time? We take our picks... 


Sophia Di Martino in Flowers

Sophia Di Martino may have grabbed more headlines with her turn as a Loki variant in, um, Loki - and understandably so, considering she more than holds her own against Tom Hiddleston’s charming, cherished titular character - but the 39-year-old’s turn in Flowers, the utterly unique Channel 4 family drama, is different class. Di Martino’s Amy epitomises the boldness of the show as a whole; a sharp, smart, complex and compelling deep-dive into depression, desperation and a desire to belong. Tasked with perhaps the most outright outlandish and cooky character, Di Martino manages to consistently ground her performance in reality and relatability, marking a stunning achievement that deserves more eyes and more attention. So, if you haven’t watched Flowers yet, rev it up on Netflix now - you won’t regret it. George White (Editor)


Bella Ramsey in The Last of Us

Okay, yes, this is an obvious choice, but can you blame me? There really isn’t a better Nottingham performance than Bella Ramsey in the recent hit show The Last of Us. Set in a post-apocalyptic United States, Ramsey brings depth and emotional intensity to the character of Ellie, who is travelling with an unlikely companion (Pedro Pascal) in this dire new landscape. I’ll try to avoid spoilers, but for me, there are few finer examples of great acting than in episode eight, When We Are in Need, during which Ellie faces her greatest challenge yet. A truly devastating episode, Bella perfectly depicts a new side of her character when pushed to the brink. It’s dark, it’s complicated, it’s cathartic. It’s really great acting. Lizzy O’Riordan (Assistant Editor) 


Matthew Horne in Gavin and Stacey

Matthew Horne is a true Nottinghamshire acting gem, who hails from Burton Joyce (a village located seven miles east of Nottingham). Although he has undertaken a variety of acting roles throughout this career, it is fair to say that Horne’s most famous performance is the loveable character of Gavin Shipman - or should I say “Gavalar” - in the much-adored and BAFTA-winning sitcom Gavin and Stacey. Horne provides an understated portrayal of Gavin, which makes his character all the more brilliant - striking a balance that presents an undeniably loveable and good-hearted man. The viewer cannot resist connecting and caring for Gavin, and this is achieved through the cheeky-chappy, lad-next-door vibe that Horne delivers - which properly comes alive when he is interacting with the likes of Smithy, Pam, Mick and Nessa. I think it is fair to say that Gavin (well, Matthew Horne) has secured his place in amongst the icons of British sitcom history, and rightly so! Since he first made his appearance on our screen all the way back in 2007, this loveable protagonist has been capturing the hearts of many generations - and plenty more to come. Sophie Bryer


Lennie James in Line of Duty

When recalling the famous Notts actors who starred in the BBC police drama Line of Duty, I wouldn’t blame your mind for going straight to Vicky McClure, since she starred as a key character in the series from start to finish. But think back to season one and you may remember DCI Tony Gates, played by Lennie James, who also hails from Nottingham. Gates was the senior investigating officer on a serious crime unit, and he was a good cop… almost too good. This leads him to become the main focus of AC-12's investigations into corrupt conduct. 

Despite not surviving past the opening series – apologies for the spoiler, but I assume most of you have seen it by this point – his character is still mentioned throughout the later seasons as the storyline comes full circle, a credit to the show’s creator and writer Jed Mercurio. Gemma Cockrell


Martin Potter in Fellini Satyricon

Orgies, earthquakes, pirate ships and dicey love triangles - all seen through the eyes of one of our own, Martin Potter. Fellini’s reimagining of Ancient Rome may not be as notorious as his Mastroianni-fronted cornerstones like 8 ½ and La Dolce Vita, but Fellini Satyricon proves to be one of the most heady, pungent, transgressive exercises in debauchery ever committed to film. 

‘Il Maestro’s’ relationship with plot is as loose as his relationship with historical accuracies. Thankfully, we have one of Nottingham's finest, Martin Potter, to guide us through a series of bizarre vignettes; without Encolpio’s odyssey we’d surely drown in a caustic sea of megalomaniacal bombast, smothered by style by the hand of the film's director. Aaron Roe 


Vicky McClure in Without Sin

Vicky McClure, hailing from Wollaton, gives a gripping performance in her Nottingham-set psychological thriller Without Sin. Shining a light on Notts talent, as well as the charm and grit of the city, Vicky’s earthy and complicated character portrayal of a grieving mother, Stella, is delivered brilliantly. Her determination to unravel the lies surrounding who really killed her daughter ring true to the strong female characters McClure is known for playing. Stella goes on a compelling and emotionally-charged journey through grief, denial, investigation and the search for closure. Nobody better than Nottingham’s own Vicky McClure could deliver such a raw and powerful performance. Explosive scenes and twists and turns keep you fixated on this story until the very end - and have you rooting for Stella’s success in finding the truth. Saskia Foran

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