IT’S fair to say Leah MacRae’s latest stage role is somewhat colourful.
Best known for playing Ellie in BBC TV soap opera River City, the East Renfrewshire actress will soon be starring in a theatre production of Fifty One Shades of Maggie.

The show – a parody of the Fifty Shades of Grey books and films – is packed with the sort of content that would make many a theatregoer blush.

However, for Leah, the role of Maggie is one she tackles with real relish.

“It’s great to play someone so different from my River City character,” she said. “Ellie is a very moral person, whereas Maggie is, well, less so.

“Maggie has done nearly everything illegal but it’s about upbringing. Her experience has formed her.

“Yet, when you peel the layers back, there are similarities between the two. There is a warmth – and Maggie, we find, is really looking for love.”

Maggie is a council house girl on benefits who copes with life with cheap drink and lots of cheaper sex.

Then she meets Mr Big and goes off on a sexual adventure, only for something to happen that makes her re-evaluate her life...

Leah is excited to be returning to the sell-out show that almost defies description, Leesa Harker’s script so full of colourful sexual imagery that it commands the use of every crayon in the box.

Legions of ladies will once again take to theatres across the land to wallow in Maggie’s mischief.

And Leah, who lives in Clarkston, has had to push through the pain barrier to take her place in the spotlight, having ruptured her Achilles tendon earlier this year.

She turned around sharply on stage one night, only to feel as though someone had shot her in the ankle.

“The surgeon said I must have had a weakness there and it was ready to go,” said Leah.

“I still limp every morning but I have worked really hard in physio and now I think it’s as strong as the other ankle.”

Leah’s injury also led to fears that she might have to give up her role in River City.

She said: “I begged the producers not to write me out, even though the ankle pain was really bad.

“When you are on a film set, you can’t take strong painkillers, you can’t be drowsy at all.

“The film set is huge and it runs like clockwork, so I had to get a wheelchair to get me around the set, but I’m so glad I kept on working.”

Leah admits the thought of leaving River City fills her with dread.

She added: “You always panic when you read the script and the line says ‘Taxi comes to pick up Ellie.’

“Characters are often written out, waving from the back of a taxi.”

Fifty One Shades of Maggie is on tour across Scotland from August 11.

For more details or to book tickets, visit