Young stars from East Renfrewshire are to perform to thousands of theatre goers this festive period as they take on the role of the Munchkins in The Wizard of Oz.

The talented junior performers are joining the professional cast from Spillers Pantomimes on stage at Eastwood Park Theatre until December 30, alongside dance and theatre schools Go Kids Scotland, Karen Burns School of Dance, Fab Stars School of Dance and East Kilbride Stagecoach.

The run of almost 60 shows started last Friday and school pupils from across the local authority have been attending weekly drama classes and holiday camps at the venue to prepare.

Barrhead News: Amber and MatthewAmber and Matthew (Image: East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure)

Amber Smeaton, 9, who attends Carolside Primary, in Clarkston, said: "I saw Cinderella at Eastwood Park Theatre before and when I watched it, I thought 'I want to be in a panto'.

“I like dancing during rehearsals and am looking forward to being on stage.

"I love performing and would like to perform more on stage and on screen in the future."

Matthew MacLeod, 7, from Giffnock, meanwhile, added: "I just started the drama classes this year and it's fun learning the dances and acting.

“I'm looking forward to my friends and family coming to see the show."

His mum Elaine Mullan said Matthew has been keen to try drama for a while so to have the opportunity to be part of a professional show at such a young age will be a great experience for him.

“We can't wait to see him perform on stage with the cast of the Wizard of Oz," she added.

Eastwood Park Juniors will feature on stage alongside the Spillers Pantomimes team, who return to Eastwood Park Theatre for the second year following the success of Peter Pan last year.

The panto features Scottish actor and co-director Garry King, who returns to take on the role of the Wizard of Oz in this year's production.

Alex Rea performs as Dorothy, after wowing producers during her audition.

They are joined on stage by Alan Mirren, who plays the Tin Man, Liam Webster, who seeks courage as the Cowardly Lion, and the Scarecrow, played by Jamie Lemetti.

Anthony McReavy from East Renfrewshire Culture and Leisure told the Barrhead News: "We are absolutely delighted that our drama group, Eastwood Park Juniors, are set to sparkle on stage this year alongside the professional panto team from Spillers Pantomimes.

“This opportunity offers our talented performers the chance to showcase the skills they have developed during their drama training, led by our experienced tutors, and perform to thousands over the festive period."