Interview with Shyvonne Ahmmad who plays Matty in This Town

A high octane thriller and a family saga, This Town opens in 1981 at a moment of huge social tensions and unrest

PHOTO: L -R: Shyvonne Ahmmad, Levi Brown, Ben Rose, Freya Parks and Eve Austin



31 March 2024

Interview with Shyvonne Ahmmad who plays Matty in This Town

How do we first meet Matty?

We are first introduced to Matty in her natural habitat - behind a drum set on stage performing in one of the pubs. She comes out with a bang. She is super fierce, she is super loud. I lost my voice after doing that scene. You meet her in a small glimpse in the background which I really love whilst Gregory and the rest of the characters are going about their business. Then you meet her again later on because they need a drummer and so I pop out.

Matty is an incredible young woman who comes with a lot of her own struggles, difficulties and inner demons. She is incredible, she is bold and she is brave. You can’t miss her physically whenever she is playing. She is hired by the band to be a drummer. I think her and Dante connect very instantly. Some people in the group are happy with that and some people aren’t. She is disruptive. I don’t think she intends to be disruptive; she is just herself.

How did you feel about performing music in the series?

My first instinct was why did I not take lessons as a child? I had never taken a lesson but it kind of comes quite naturally to me because I am quite jittery and never sit still - I always kind of drum about. Then there’s excitement, it’s fun and a new challenge.

What was it like being put together for the first time as the cast?

I was nervous because I thought what if I don’t get on with them? What do I do then?! But actually, as I hope audiences will pick up on, everybody is so lovely, welcoming and encouraging. We met for the first time in Dan Carey’s studio. It clicked instantly. You don’t always get that so it’s a testament to casting director Daniel Edwards and director Paul Whittington and everyone who had a hand in bringing everybody together.

What can you tell us about Matty’s look?

With Matty it’s interesting because she is so different from everyone else which I love. Her costumes are incredible, they are so exciting. Everyone is a little more punk, a little more subdued until at least the very end. Whereas Matty is very bold, a lot of skin, confident, earthy, gritty, but also really cosy. We took a lot from Janice Joplin mixed with Karen Carpenter. She is an amalgamation of the kind of hippy and punk which I think is incredible. I think it’s very obvious when you see her that she is an outlier from everyone else. She likes to be that, she is very separate and very unique. She is in your face, ‘I am here, this is what I am wearing today’, and it makes her feel confident.

What does music mean to you and your character?

To Matty, music means everything. She doesn’t stick to one genre. Her line is I play what comes to me. She will pick up a pair of drum sticks to any music you put on really. But I think she probably enjoys the vibrancy of it and how revolutionary it was at the time - to amalgamate different kinds of music. I think she loves all music.


Set in a world of family ties, teenage kicks and the exhilarating music of a generation, This Town tells the story of a band’s formation against a backdrop of violence, capturing how creative genius can emerge from a time of madness. Both a high octane thriller and a family saga, This Town opens in 1981 at a moment of huge social tensions and unrest. Against this backdrop, it tells the story of a group of young people fighting to choose their own paths in life, and each in need of the second chance that music offers.

This Town (6x60) is produced by Kudos (a Banijay UK company) and Nebulastar for the BBC, co-produced with Mercury Studios, in association with Kudos North, Stigma Films and Nick Angel.

This Town is available in full on BBC iPlayer from 6am on Sunday 31 March, with episodes one and two airing on BBC One at 9pm on Sunday 31 March and Monday 1 April. The series continues on BBC One on Sundays at 9pm.

Source BBC One

April 1, 2024 4:00am ET by BBC One  


  Shortlink to this content:


Latest Press Releases

We may earn a commission from products purchased via links featured on our pages