Inverness-born Dr Who actress Karen Gillan returned to her roots this week when she was invited on-stage – only to be gunked in goo as the panto dame’s Grotty Totty.
The acclaimed actress, who honed her stage skills at Eden Court Theatre, was called up on stage during Monday night’s performance of Beauty and the Beast.
Dame Dorothy Do-it, played by Iain Laughlan, set the actress to work cleaning the stage and in the nightly slapstick routine, the glamourous red-haired star was subjected to being squirted with soap-suds.
The dirt-phobic dame picks out a nominated audience member for embarrassment every performance to help her clean the set.
The special visit for the young actress was organised by the theatre, and the 23-year-old’s former drama tutor Amanda Luscombe, who accompanied her to the show.
Eden Court marketing manager Laurie Piper said: “All the way through the show the writer, Iain Laughlan, incorporated 23 Dr Who jokes, so some audience members might have had an idea what was going on.
“When Karen was called on to the stage, the kids loved it and everyone was delighted. She did it in great spirit.”
He added that she was mobbed for autographs after her appearance.
Miss Gillan, who was described as wearing “killer heels” as she went on stage, like the other “victims” had to wear a protective plastic outfit over her own clothing.
The former Charleston Academy pupil, who has found fame as Dr Who’s assistant Amy Pond, was involved with Eden Court theatre from a young age.
She later sat her higher drama and London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA) exams there.
Last week she was announced as the new Arts Education Ambassador for the organisation.
She said: “Eden Court provides so many great opportunities for studying theatre, dance and film-making in the Highlands.
“I did a lot of my initial training with them, including my Higher Drama and completing my LAMDA certification. Their tutors were always there to support me.
“I had my first real experience of acting with Eden Court, and it was their knowledge and experience that encouraged me to take the next step and pursue a career in the arts.”