A PERFORMER who first honed her skills while treading the boards in Alloa has been appearing in a leading role in Scotland's capital.

Gillian Parkhouse is taking centre stage at the King's Theatre in Edinburgh as part of the festive family pantomime Cinderella – the classic rags to riches fairytale.

She first discovered an interest in the arts as a youngster in Clackmannanshire and has gone on to develop a successful and varied career in the industry.

Now, she is delighting audiences – alongside her fellow 'wicked' cast members – in the production which runs until Sunday, January 21.

Gillian said: "You won't stop laughing with a panto script full of current jokes, suitable for both adults and children.

"Show-stopping special effects, some of which are worth the ticket price alone, stunning costumes and an incredibly talented cast.

"I have loved every minute. Not only do I feel privileged to be playing Cinderella, I feel so lucky to be doing so in a beautiful theatre, close to home and working with a lovely bunch of people."

The actress and singer first started dancing at the age of eight at Murray's School of Dance in Alloa, doing modern, tap and jazz.

She then joined a local children's theatre group, Forefront Stage School, then run by Naidha Thomson, and eventually played the part of the Fairy Godmother in the production of Cinderella.

She said: "I went to St John's Primary School; the late Irene Dingwall started a new award for outstanding ability in the arts, which I was lucky enough to win.

"I then went on to Alloa Academy for four years before accepting a scholarship to Knightswood Secondary School in Glasgow to do a two-year musical theatre course whilst studying for my highers.

"This school has an excellent reputation with top London colleges and it definitely helped me get into Arts Educational School, kick-starting my career."

Gillian now has a long list of professional credits and has appeared at the Palace Theatre in London's West End, the Prince of Wales Theatre, Edinburgh Festival Fringe and His Majesty's Theatre to name a few.

She was a vocalist for Paris Fashion Week in the H&M 2016 autumn/winter collection; was at The Classical BRIT Awards as a backing singer for Il Divo at the Royal Albert Hall; and performed in Katy B and Ms Dynamite’s music video Lights On.

She said: "This industry can be extremely challenging but I've been very fortunate to work on several jobs.

"Some of my highlights include performing in Singin' In the Rain in London's West End, Funny Girl UK Tour and this current job at the King’s Theatre, Edinburgh.

"These are my favourites due to being such special shows with the nicest people. I haven't stopped smiling."

The panto from The King's Theatre Edinburgh and Qdos Entertainment will bring all of the favourite characters to life – Cinderella will be joined by Fairy May, Buttons, Hibernia Hardup, Prince Charming, Dandini, the wicked step-sisters and wicked step-mother.

To book tickets for the show, visit edtheatres.com/kings