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5 of Vicky McClure's Greatest Performances

21 January 22 words: George White

Ahead of Vicky McClure’s return to the small screen in ITV’s Trigger Point this week, we take a look back at five of the best performances from one of Nottingham’s finest talents…

Ladine, A Room for Romeo Brass (1999)

Back in the late nineties, McClure kicked off what would become an incredibly fruitful working relationship with another local legend, Shane Meadows, in A Room for Romeo Brass. Her first credited role, McClure looked instantly assured on the silver screen, holding her own against another impressive debutant in Paddy Considine. Encapsulating the honesty and groundedness that made this film feel so fresh, the then sixteen year-old definitely played a key role in its critical success.

Lol, This Is England (2006)

Despite the name, McClure’s performance in Meadows’ gritty, raw drama This Is England is no laughing matter. In what was her first feature film since Romeo Brass, the Wollatonian left a lasting impression whenever she took to the screen - with a layered display effortlessly demonstrating how her character’s tortured past affects her behaviour in the present. Alongside Stephen Graham, McClure was a true star of This Is England - and this attention-grabbing turn helped to properly launch her stellar career.

Lol, This Is England '86 (2010)

After wowing viewers in the original film, McClure was handed a much larger role in TV spin-off This Is England ‘86, with Lol a key focus of this powerful series. Across four intense episodes, McClure delved further into the harrowing backstory of the character and her brutal relationship with her father, Mick (Johnny Harris), as well as developing a complex dynamic with her partner, Woody (Joe Gilgun). The star won a BAFTA in 2011 for her work on the show, rightfully gaining plaudits for her phenomenal emotional range. “Lol was the most in-depth I've gone with any character,” she told The Guardian a few years after winning the award - it’s safe to say her efforts paid off.

Lady Macbeth, Macbeth: Shakespeare Lives (2016)

Macbeth: Shakespeare Lives might not have posed the longest shooting schedule for McClure - with the whole short only lasting a couple of minutes - but the actor quickly made her mark in this monologue from Act 1 Scene V of the famous play. In what is a crossover between live action and animation, McClure showcased her ability to master the classics, capturing the audience from the very first second. This might not be her most famous production, but it has been viewed almost half a million times - and it’s available to watch for free on the British Council YouTube channel.

DI Kate Fleming, Line of Duty (2012-2021)

Let’s be honest, there’d be riots around Nottingham city centre if DI Kate Fleming wasn’t on this list - such is the popularity of this character. Sure, Line of Duty may have gone all Game of Thrones and pissed just about everyone off with its finale, but the love for McClure’s performances remained strong right until the very end. Developing an entertaining relationship with fellow inspector Arnott (Martin Compston) while establishing an unflappable, no-nonsense lead in her own right, McClure did what she does best over those six pulse-racing seasons - creating a character that feels authentic and believable, even in the most unbelievable circumstances.

Catch Vicky McClure on ITV’s Trigger Point from Sunday 23 January.

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