Emma was born in Scotland of an Irish midwife mother and Italian schoolteacher father moving south to train at The Drama Centre London. She has worked extensively in Rep and in London in both classical and contemporary theatre where roles with the RSC included Polya in Philistines, Hitler in Mephisto, Cressida in Troilus & Cressida and Louise Danton in The Danton Affair. Her many TV and film credits include The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, The Bloodhunt, Taggart, Rebus, The Raggedy Rawney and Afterlife. Emma spent three years on the BBC World Service Rep and her voice work covers many ages and accents from the child Angelica in Philip Pullman's The Subtle Knife to the elderly dying Maddie in the haunting Irish novel, The Butterfly Cabinet. Emma works extensively in the vocal field and regularly records audiobooks.
Alongside her performing, Emma produces short contemporary films of Shakespeare's Sonnets and was most recently nominated for Best Actress in the 2018 Offies for her performance of Mrs Gillie in the revival of Mr Gillie at the Finborough.