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Stage star Outhwaite juggles roles

Tamzin Outhwaite admitted it was not easy juggling being a single mother with starring on the West End stage, at the opening of new show Di and Viv and Rose.

The New Tricks actress stars with Bad Education's Samantha Spiro and Jenna Russell in the comedy, running at the Vaudeville Theatre in London, about three friends who meet at university.

The critically acclaimed production, written by Alan Partridge star Amelia Bullmore, has transferred from Hampstead Theatre, with original cast member Outhwaite reprising her role as Di until March 28.

Outhwaite, 44, split from her husband, Miranda star Tom Ellis, in 2013 and is a single mum to two young daughters, Florence and Marnie.

She said: "At the moment I'm not able to put them to bed before the show starts, but I'm still working it out.

"It's all new to me at the moment. I've got very good care and a lot of support and I am only in it for eight weeks. I probably couldn't do any more than that."

The play begins in 1983 and features several nostalgic pop songs of the eighties, including a scene where Outhwaite's character Di breakdances to Run-DMC's Walk This Way.

The former EastEnders star said: "In the eighties, at that time, everyone tried to breakdance, however bad they were! And I wanted to incorporate that in it."

The play explores the development of female friendship over time, and although it is a comedy the show deals with some challenging subjects, including rape.

Outhwaite said: "It's a massive thing to have a play on in the West End that stars three women, that's created by women. The director's a woman, the writer's a woman, even backstage it's all women.

"It's very female-led. And I think when a male comes into that it changes the dynamic.

"So it's beautiful, it's wholesome, it's pure. It's a wonderful thing to work on."

A star-studded crowd turned out to support the show's opening night including Gary Lineker, Myleene Klass, Coronation Street's Kate Ford, Miranda's Sarah Hadland and Young Ones star Nigel Planer.

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