Marsha Thomason was born and raised in Manchester, England. Her love for acting began after watching the musical Bugsy Malone. Soon after, aged 12, she joined Oldham Theatre Workshop, where she performed many diverse stage plays, including Our Day Out by Willy Russell and Peace by Aristophanes. What began as a hobby soon helped her achieve her first professional acting job at the age of 14, when she starred in 8:15 from Manchester (1990) (BBC 1). Marsha took A levels in English Language, Media Studies and Theatre Studies before studying for her BA in English at Manchester Metropolitan University. While at university, Marsha won the role of Janice Lafferty in Prime Suspect 5: Errors of Judgement (1996) alongside Helen Mirren, and later the same year she appeared in Brazen Hussies (1996) with Julie Walters and Robert Lindsay. Many parts followed, including Sally in the BBCs popular series Pie in the Sky (1994). Aged 20, Marsha moved to Londons Notting Hill to take the role of Shazza Pearce in Playing the Field (1998), in which she played a beer-swilling, drug-taking soccer player. This was a role close to her heart as a life-long Manchester City supporter. After the first season of the show Marsha also starred as Nurse Jacqui Richards in Where the Heart Is (1997). She appeared in both programs simultaneously for three years. At this point she was spotted by Red Productions and appeared in Love in the 21st Century (1999), a series of six adult morality tales.