Michelle Ryan has told London Tonight how excited she is to be making her West End debut at the Savoy Theatre.
The Enfield-born actress, who first appeared on TV screens as Zoe Slater in Eastenders, is taking on the lead role in the musical Cabaret, alongside singer Will Young.
She said it was amazing to be treading the boards in London, after a four week tour around the rest of the country:
"Being out of town, everyone was so kind, but it made me realise how much I love London and it does feel like something special," she said. "I used to go and watch all of the musicals and I appeared in a couple of gala performances when I was 14 at the Palladium and Her Majesty's Theatre, but to be opening at the Savoy in London - which is my home town - that's really amazing."
Michelle is taking on the role of singer Sally Bowles, a part made famous by Liza Minnelli in the 1972 film and one which required rigorous dance training. She says she's finding theatre much more physically demanding than film or television.
"You really have to take care of yourself, I'm covered in bruises, literally covered. You're like an athlete in some ways....I've never been in better shape physically."
Watch Michelle's full interview with Piers Hopkirk below.