Former Emmerdale actress Verity Rushworth has revealed she is enjoying being a working mother as she gears up for a run in hit musical Kinky Boots.
The ex-soap star became a mother for the first time after giving birth to Amelie last August but will return to the stage on Monday as Lauren opposite fellow newcomer Simon-Anthony Rhoden as drag queen Lola in the hit West End production.
Rushworth told the Press Association: “It’s a massive struggle obviously when you have a baby and so I decided to chill and take 10 months.
“Then I felt I needed to be me again and the skills I had worked so hard on I didn’t want to lose. I just don’t think that everything should stop just because I’ve had a baby and I’ve been very lucky I’ve had 10 months with her and I’m still at home with her until 4 o’clock so I get to spend time with her and do the show.”
She added: “I felt I needed to get back into work and once I’m back in I’m so thrilled and I’m so happy. I’m loving every single minute of it.”
The actress trained in singing and dancing and is relishing utilising her full skill set in the musical but admitted to using some odd techniques to maintain stamina.
“You have to get so fit to be singing and dancing eight times a week so what I tend to do is sing and jog and sing.
“I jog round in circles singing”, she said, adding: “And I stick some heels on and strut round in a circle and get used to singing and dancing in stilettos.”
Rushworth – who played Emmerdale’s Donna Windsor between 1998 and 2009 before returning for a shorter stint in 2014 – said a key difference between soaps and stage is the instant feedback.
“On a soap obviously you’re in a small studio and in front of a camera whereas with the show you get the immediate reaction, the laughter, the applause. The audience go mental, they’re up on their feet dancing and it’s a celebration.
“It’s an adrenaline buzz every time but in front of a camera you don’t actually know if you’re touching people at home until afterwards.”
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.
The show follows 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.
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.
Rushworth has several stage credits under her belt including Maria in The Sound Of Music and Penny Pingleton in Hairspray.