Third step towards stage and stardom

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A Newton Mearns playwright is on her way to proving that age is only a number when it comes to pursuing your dream job.

Isabella Baronello has written her third play — under the name Bella Littlebaron — to be shown at Lunchtime @ The Shed this month before heading for the Edinburgh Fringe.

The mum-of-three (53) began writing four years ago, after pursuing acting and realising that there were fewer roles for women in her age group.

Isabella told The Extra: “I found it hard to break into, because I didn’t come via the conventional route. I had always wanted to focus on my family first, so I wasn’t educated in drama.

“I had nothing to prove to people that I could do it, so 
instead I thought: I’ll prove it to myself.”

The result was Lizzie, a tale of one working class woman’s attempts to make a penny or two — inspired by a story about Isabella’s own grandmother.

The play was first shown two years ago, and there are plans to ressurect the character in July.

When You’re Smiling followed — another close-to-home piece — but Isabella has taken a turn towards the mystical for the Shawlands show.

She explained: “The Waiting Room is more fanciful. It’s about four women in eternity’s waiting room — one righteous, one not so righteous, an odd character everyone’s unsure about and a suicide.

“They’re all questioned by an interviewer about who they were in life, and he’s the devil’s advocate, deciding who goes upstairs and who goes down.”

Isabella will be moving her tale of heaven and earth — in which she has a small role, as a clairvoyant — east this summer for the Free Fringe, but for now the Shed’s daytime slot is the ideal venue.

She added: “Isobel Barrett, who runs the lunchtime shows, is an inspiration. She’s trying to bring new writing to Glasgow’s attention and I love that.

“It’s also nice to be at the Shed because it’s local — I used to live in Giffnock and it would be great to see old neighbours there. I have a wee following now too, so I’m sure my regular supporters will be there.”

The Waiting Room runs April 26-27 (doors at 12.30pm). Tickets are £10 and include a pie and a drink.