Belfast Telegraph

Emmerdale's Verity Rushworth to take to West End stage in Kinky Boots

She’s taking a big step from the small screen to the stage.

Former Emmerdale actress Verity Rushworth will star in award-winning musical Kinky Boots in one of the leading roles from July this year.

Verity, who starred in the ITV soap as Donna Windsor for more than 15 years, will take on the role of Lauren opposite fellow newcomer Simon-Anthony Rhoden as drag queen Lola in the hit West End production.

The Cyndi Lauper-composed musical, which recently saw its 700th performance at London’s Adelphi Theatre, has won three Olivier Awards including Best New Musical.

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The feel-good show follows the story of Charlie Price, played by continuing cast-member David Hunter, who inherits his father’s shoe factory and must find a way to save it from closure, as well as live up to the image of his late father.

A chance meeting with Lola gives him the idea of making stiletto boots that are able to bear the weight of a man, and he brings Lola to Northampton as a shoe designer.

But Charlie and Lola must both fight for acceptance within the factory, where Lauren is one of the workers.

Verity, 31, has several stage credits under her belt, including Maria in The Sound Of Music and Penny Pingleton in Hairspray, and in 2007 she took part in TV’s celebrity singing contest Soapstar Superstar.

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But she is best known by TV fans for her long-running role as Donna in the soap from 1998 until 2009 and then again for a brief and final stint in 2014.

She and Simon-Anthony, the show’s current Lola understudy for Matt Henry, will begin their tenure in the show from July 10.

Kinky Boots, penned by four-time Tony Award-winner Harvey Fierstein and pop star Cyndi, has been a fixture on Broadway for four years and in 2015 transferred to London.

The musical has also announced a new booking period extending until March 24 2018.

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