WHEN Amelia Lily was a child, she loved Shrek so much she knew the script off by heart.
Little did she know that, 17 years later, she would be playing Princess Fiona on stage every night in the hit spin-off, Shrek The Musical.
As the show arrives in Glasgow on Tuesday for two weeks, the Middlesbrough singer and actor talked about how much fun she is having in her dream job.
“It’s been an incredible experience and a dream come true,” she smiled. “It’s such a fun show.
“I’ve been a massive fan since watching the film when I was a kid, so much so that I used to know the script.
“When it came to the West End in 2010 I went to see it, and then I was asked to do a guest slot for Children In Need for one night only.”
It was only one song, but it allowed producers to see that the former X Factor finalist looked the part of Princess Fiona.
An audition and a two-hour workshop when the role came up later confirmed she had all the other necessary tools, too.
“I’ve been waiting for a big role to sink my teeth into and show I’m not just a singer – I’m also an actress and a dancer,” she said.
“It’s one of those things – sometimes you just suit a role and I feel like I’m playing myself sometimes, because she’s a girly girl but has unique tomboy elements as well.”
Part of blonde-haired Amelia’s transformation into Princess Fiona is putting on the character’s red-haired wig for each show.
“It’s made of real hair so it’s very heavy and there’s a lot of pressure on my shoulders, but we have a great physio on the road with us,” she continued. “And I quite enjoy being a redhead!”
She’s looking forward to performing in Glasgow again, having last been here in the Green Day musical, American Idiot.
“The audiences in Glasgow were the best we had on the tour, so I’m looking forward to coming back.
“Glasgow is one of my favourite places to visit.”
But there will be no late nights.
“I’m not very sociable in this job because it’s so demanding,” she admitted.
“We have eight shows a week, so I have to rest all day every day.
“That’s one of the things which comes with such a big part. And I said to Steffan Harri, who plays Shrek, do the show, go to sleep, rest, and that’s it.
“That’s especially crucial on days when we have two performances – it’s a very tough show.
“But we have a night off in Glasgow, so I might treat myself to a glass of Prosecco that day.”
Amelia was just 17 when she reached the final of The X Factor in 2011 and she’s proven to have staying power, with hit singles, appearances in major musical tours and a runner-up place on last year’s Celebrity Big Brother.
“I forget I’m only 23,” she laughed.
“People think I’m older because I’ve been around for a while. I haven’t stopped since X Factor.
“The past 12 months has been mad – I came out of Celebrity Big Brother this time last year, went straight into a collaboration with the Jane Norman clothing range, then panto, now Shrek, and I’ll be doing a panto in Lincoln next.
“I always wanted to do theatre and acting, though I’d never say never about returning to the studio.
“I would love to go into straight acting, maybe a soap. But the most important thing is to make sure you have fun.”
That’s exactly what she did on Celebrity Big Brother, although she looked on aghast this year as eventual winner Ryan Thomas was falsely accused of punching ex-Emmerdale star Roxanne Pallett, who later left the show in shame.
Amelia said: “There was a lot of drama this year and Ryan had a really tough time.
“Roxanne shouldn’t have been allowed in there – she could have ruined his career by making such horrendous accusations.
“I’m so glad he won and he was such a gentleman about it all – he handled it well.”
She added: “I loved my time in the house. It was a show I always wanted to do. I was only 22, the youngest in there.
“I had so much fun. It was a blast.”
Almost as much fun as being part of Shrek each night.
Shrek The Musical; King’s Theatre, Glasgow, Sept 25-Oct 6