ACTRESS Rowan Birkett has been demonstrating her all-round versatility during the festive period.

Performing takes Rowan, of Little Langdale, all around the country, but recently she has been performing closer to home.

She not only performs fire eating and fire hula-hooping with Ambleside-based street entertainers, The Fairly Famous Family, but her latest, very different venture is starring in a newly-released mental health awareness film set at Christmas time entitled “Cold”.

The film explores the subject of coping with depression during the festive season and was filmed at locations throughout Scotland during the past year.

However, 27-year-old Rowan was aiming even higher than that earlier this year as she and her father, the climber Bill Birkett, tackled the North West Arete on Gimmer Crag, watched by a TV audience of thousands in a nail-biting action sequence which was being filmed for an episode of ‘The Yorkshire Dales and the Lakes’.

In between all that, Rowan has appeared regularly in local amateur dramatic productions and other short films and stage productions, and her fire-eating skills have also entertained the crowds at Christmas Lights festivals and switch-ons with the Fairly Famous Family.

She also took part in “Flight”, an evocative drama illustrating the progress of human flight through the ages which was staged at Brockhole in the house and gardens a year or two ago.

However, her latest venture filming “Cold” was particularly important to Rowan.

“So many people go through depression, and other mental health issues and we don’t want people to feel isolated,” she said.

“We want people to open up to each other and it’s been so rewarding working with a team of such talented people in order to tackle this important issue.”

The film, which is produced by Kirkcaldy-based MidgieBite Media, had its Scottish premiere recently and will also raise funds for the Scottish Association of Mental Health.

Although performing and acting takes her round the country, Rowan says it’s a real privilege to perform locally: “I’m at home in the Lakes,” she says.