Elaine C Smith

Elaine C Smith is one of Scotland’s best known performers. She is a singer, actress, writer, comedienne, raconteur, standup, campaigner, political activist, sister, wife, mother and granny.

For over 30 years she has worked extensively in radio, television, film and theatre. She has written two books about her life relaying the trials and tribulations of growing up as a woman in Scotland, and she has also written the hugely popular version of The Gruffalo: The Glasgow Gruffalo. Elaine has also been awarded two Honorary Doctorates from the University of Glasgow and the University of Dundee, and is a Patron of numerous charities.

She is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Mary Doll, wife of Rab, in the iconic BBC comedy production Rab C Nesbitt, which started out as a sketch in Naked Video, which ran for six series.  Elaine also had leading roles in City Lights, and 2000 Acres of Skye.

She is one of the few women in the UK to consistently headline in major pantomimes completing eight years at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen , and has just finished her thirteenth year at the Glasgow Kings, for which she won an award for “Best Fairy” in the British Pantomime Awards in London, in 2018.

Elaine started out touring in political theatre with 7.84 Theatre Company and Wildcat, but also with Borderline, the Lyceum Theatre, and the Tron Theatre Glasgow. Credits also include being the original Dolly in The Steamie, and in her own company’s production of Shirley Valentine directed by Alex Norton. Elaine was Cora in the original UK tour and West End run of Calendar Girls, followed by her portrayal of Susan Boyle in the UK musical tour of I Dreamed a Dream, which she co wrote with Alan Mchugh.

She has recorded 3 series of her own award winning STV series Burds Eye View, and this year will be appearing again as the outrageous Christine in the fourth series of the hit BBC network sitcom Two Doors Down, for which she won a Scottish BAFTA for Best Actress in 2018.


Headshot of actress Elaine C Smith. She is wearing a white top, and looking art the camera. The portrait is from the shoulder up.



Red Dust Road

Find out more

Cast and Tour announced for Red Dust Road

Find out more

Full cast announced for Red Dust Road

Find out more
Become a National Theatre of Scotland insider by signing up to our emails