She was educated at Rosholme College, Weston-super-Mare, and studied for the stage at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. As a member of Clive Currie's Young Players in 1914, she appeared at the Grand, Croydon, Court and Little Theatres, during that year.
In 1914 she attended an audition with the ballerina Phyllis Bedells and later Anna Pavlova who considered her too young, even if very talented, for the corps de ballet. Nora instead joined Italia Conti school where she obtained her first real part as a child actress in Where the Rainbow Ends. She performed in the show in London and in all the big cities of England for eighteen shillings a week.
At the end of 1915 she gained a place at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. While still a student at the Academy she appeared at the New Theatre on 11 April 1916 as The Wild Flowers in Paddly Pools; appeared at the Comedy Theatre, September 1916, as a dancer in the revue, This and That; and in October 1916 appeared in Samples at the Globe Theatre (now the Gielgud Theatre). She also appeared at the Globe in March 1917 as Gabrielle in Suzette. Other early roles included Lulu in Yes, Uncle! at the Prince of Wales Theatre in December 1917, and Regina Waterhouse at the Strand Theatre in December 1918.
At the Apollo Theatre in 1919 she played the title role in Tilly of Bloomsbury "for about six weeks", according to her personal notes in Who's Who in the Theatre, followed by the role of Roselle in The Betrothal at the Gaiety in January 1921, concluding the year with what she charmingly called "several cinema plays".
Dinah Lot in Lot’s Wife (for London International), Duke of York’s Theatre, April 1938; then under her own management at the Whitehall Theatre, June 1938; subsequently transferring to the Aldwych and Savoy Theatres.
Fanny Grey in Autumn Crocus, King’s Theatre, Hammersmith, April 1939
Ann Mordaunt in Third Party Risk, St Martin’s Theatre, May 1939
Mrs Oswald Pink in Married For Money, Aldwych Theatre, November 1939
Frances Courtenay in The Peaceful Inn, Duke of York’s Theatre, May 1940