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River City star relishing East Renfrewshire panto role - East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure Trust

River City star relishing East Renfrewshire panto role

River City star Leah MacRae will be stepping back in time when she takes to the stage to star in panto.

Leah MacRae River City star Leah MacRae will be stepping back in time when she takes to the stage to star in panto.

She's appearing as the Fairy Godmother, in A Belter of a Cinderella Story at Eastwood Park Theatre in Giffnock - on the very same stage she made her performing debut as a ten year old. Back then, Leah was a pupil of The Dance Factory dancing school and was playing Fat Sam, in a production of Bugsy Malone.

And the 32-year-old - who also stars in the Gary: Tank Commander TV show - revealed that as a youngster, standing in the wings waiting to go on stage for the first time, she knew that there was no other business like show business for her.

Leah, who was brought up in King's Park, in the south side of Glasgow, can't wait to re-visit the scene of her performing debut on stage. She explains:

"That first time I was standing in the wings, everyone was really excited. The teachers were telling everyone to shush, but I was completely silent, just looking up and being mesmerised by the giant curtains and the lights. I had never experienced anything like it before.

"Back then when I was waiting to go on stage, I just knew this is what I wanted to do. I got the feeling of absolute love for the stage and the whole theatre environment

"I just knew this was for me. It was the first time I had been on stage in a real theatre and I felt something special about being there."

Leah continues: "I still do the same thing today today before I go on stage - I'll stand in the wings and just quietly take everything in. I even got an amazing flashback to that first time on stage earlier this year when I was about to go on and perform the one-woman show, 51 Shades of Maggie, at the Edinburgh Playhouse.

"I was standing in the wings quietly looking up and around me when I thought about that first time on stage as a wee lassie all those years ago and the journey I'd been on."

She adds: "When I played Fat Sam in that Bugsy Malone production, my mum and dad were in the audience and they were so proud of me. But I might not have got such a big part if it weren't for the lack of boys in the dance school and they gave the big male part to me.

"Going back to Eastwood Park Theatre for the first time after all those years will be a special moment for me. It will be amazing if I can stand on the same sport on the left hand wing waiting to go on like I did all those years ago. I'm definitely going to ask if I can do that!"

At the time, Leah's teacher at The Dance Factory was Lesley Wood who said: "Leah was really enthusiastic, great fun and good to work with. Acting was definitely her thing and she was such a good performer. I knew very early she would go down the acting road when she got older and make a career out of it.

"Leah was always a smiley kind of girl, very witty and a great communicator. I'm really pleased she has made it in showbusiness."

Leah is starring in A Belter of a Cinderella Story, staged by Inside Out Productions, at Eastwood Park Theatre between December 14 and 29. Tickets are available to buy online from Eastwood Park Theatre


Created 15 December 2016

 

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