Golden Globe actor Ruth Wilson backs scheme to champion arts across Nottingham area

The celebrated British actor, producer and University of Nottingham alumna Ruth Wilson is backing a national campaign launched to showcase the impact of the arts on society and the economy.

Saturday, 15th January 2022, 5:00 pm

Ruth studied history at the university before training as an actor and going on to win a Golden Globe for her performance in The Affair, and plaudits for her many high-profile roles, including in His Dark Materials, Luther, and Mrs Wilson.

Ruth has been nominated as the university’s Creative Spark, in a national campaign by Universities UK called #MadeAtUni.

The campaign is celebrating more than 100 well-known alumni from British universities as Creative Sparks to highlight the importance of the creative industries and to celebrate the huge contribution of universities to the arts sector.

Ruth Wilson has been nominated as the University of Nottingham's Creative Spark, in a national campaign by Universities UK called #MadeAtUni.

Creative Sparks #MadeAtUni is also lobbying the Government to promote the importance of creative education and of creativity to the UK economy.

The creative industries were worth more than £115 billion to the UK economy pre-Covid and are vital to recovery post-pandemic.

At the same time, the number of students enrolled in creative courses is declining and a shortfall of skill in the sector is forecast.

Since graduating from the University of Nottingham with a history degree in 2003, followed by drama training at LAMDA, Ruth Wilson has become a highly celebrated and sought-after actor in theatre, television, and film, winning a Golden Globe and two Olivier awards as well as Tony and BAFTA nominations.

She was given an Honorary Degree by the university in 2017 and in her speech paid tribute to the university for its cultural offering, not least her experience at the New Theatre, the student-run theatre company on University Park:

“I always had an inkling that I wanted to act, but I never admitted it,” recalls Ruth. “I hadn’t found a community of people that shared my passion, but it was ignited and nurtured when I found the New Theatre. I explored acting, directed my first play and devised a show, The Hush, for the Edinburgh Festival with Carrie Cracknell – her aesthetic vision and ability to stage a play was impressive, even as a student. I met some of my closest friends here, including Carrie and Michael Longhurst, who directed me in Constellations on Broadway.“To have three years to explore my interest in theatre, in a place where there was real creative freedom, with no performance pressure or professional critique, was invaluable. It was at the end of my time at Nottingham that I decided to give acting a go.”

Ruth added: “I could never have imagined where I am today when I left Nottingham. But I had a dream. In my honorary degree speech, I shared the advice that I tell myself every day: follow your passion and go where your heart lies – you never know where it may lead. To thine own self be true.”

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, Professor Shearer West, added: “We are very proud that Ruth Wilson has been recognised as part of this campaign. She is just one example of how our university is helping to nurture the much-needed talent, innovation, and skills required for the UK’s creative industries to prosper and for the nation to recover post-pandemic.”

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