THERE were times, during the long days of lockdown, when actor Suzie McAdam worried the career she loved could be over.

“Before the pandemic, I was doing well, work was good – and then when everything in the creative industries stopped, I wasn’t sure I would ever be on the stage again,” explains the 35-year-old, who is from Rutherglen.

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“I thought I might have to retrain, find something else I could do to earn a living, and give up acting completely.”

She smiles: “So when I got the part in The Rocky Horror Show, and even better, knew it was coming to the King’s in Glasgow, I just felt so lucky.”

Suzie, who plays villainous maid Magenta in the musical, made her King’s Theatre debut when the show came to Glasgow in January. It was so popular, it is back for another run this month (June 27 to July 2).

“We were actually due to do it last year. My mum had busloads of people ready to come and it was cancelled, so to finally get the chance to do it in Glasgow, at the King’s in January was just wonderful,” she smiles.

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“It is so exciting to be back doing live theatre, and Rocky Horror is such a party show. You know you’re going to have a good night.

“I’d never performed at the King’s, that was always the dream, so it was such a proud moment. People always say Glasgow audiences are the best but I don’t think I really got that until I was up there and couldn’t hear myself singing for the crowd.”

Suzie was a pupil at Stonelaw High, planning to study English or journalism “or something like that” when a teacher suggested she audition for the Dance School of Scotland at Knightswood Secondary.

“I had never thought about a career in acting or singing, but I went anyway, and got in,” she says, adding with a laugh: “It was a surprise to both me and my family.

"I remember my mum saying, ‘okay, we’re doing this now, are we?’

"My mum and dad have been so supportive of everything I have done.”

She adds: “The two years I spent there were absolutely amazing. We are so lucky to have a school like that in Scotland. It is the best in the UK and maybe even in Europe, in terms of the training it gives young people. It prepares you so well for the industry.”

After leaving school, Suzie went to London to study at the Guildford School of Acting, where she graduated with a First Class Honours Degree and was awarded the prestigious GSA cup for Musical Theatre.

“After a couple of jobs, I came back to Scotland to get my teaching qualification, and taught drama at a school in East Kilbride which was fantastic,” she says.

“I was always in the music and drama department at school, it was such a fun and supportive environment. I think at school you’re always just trying to find your people, and I found them there. We had inspirational teachers too, which made such a difference.”

She pauses. “And I hope I might be that teacher for someone else, that person who says, yes, you can do this, you should believe in yourself,” she says, adding with a laugh: “It’s also quite weird when you see your former pupils at the stage door, telling you they loved the show and, 'Miss, you were great...'”

Despite loving teaching, Suzie missed performing.

“I still had the bug,” she smiles.

“So I went back to London.”

From there, Suzie landed roles in a string of high profile shows, from Legally Blonde and Kinky Boots, to Local Hero and School of Rock.

“Legally Blonde was my first West End musical, my second job out of college, age 22, appearing with Sheridan Smith. It was amazing,” she says with a smile.

“I remember taking my mum and dad to the premiere and it felt like that was what it had all been for. It was a way to thank my parents for running me here, there and everywhere, to auditions and rehearsals, and to finally show them I had done it, and I was on the West End stage. It was a special moment.”

Suzie loves playing Magenta.

“She is such an iconic role,” she explains.

“I love her. I was so nervous at first, I had done big shows, but Rocky Horror is so well loved, and the characters are so famous it was definitely nerve-wracking.

“I’m loving being in the show. There is never a dull night, people just go mad for it. It makes no sense, I mean, what on earth is it about? But the music never gets old, and where it has a new relevancy today is the message - be yourself, be free, it’s okay to be who you are and don’t care what anyone else thinks.”

She grins: “I get so many messages from people who say Rocky Horror has helped them. It’s a show for people who need to find themselves. I always have a wee look out for the Magentas too, in the audience, and give them a wave – we have a special bond.”

Beyond Rocky Horror, Suzie plans “to keep on being a working actor,” she says.

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“There was a time I maybe would have said I want to do this part, or that lead, but after the last two and a half years, I just feel incredibly lucky and grateful to be working and doing something creative that makes audiences happy,” she adds.

“It’s a privilege, and I am just very glad to be out there doing it.”