After an 18-year break, West End star Claudia Morris is making a return to performing — but this time not as an actress.
The mother-of-three is about to release her debut album. Called Love & Demons, it is a mixture of jazz, musical theatre and country and western. Ms Morris, 43, who played Buddy Holly's wife in the West End musical about the rock'n'roll star, decided to "jack in the theatre" aged 25 in order to start a family.
"I became a bit disillusioned. While I had always enjoyed it I didn't know how I would cope with having a family and performing in the West End."
Her return to showbiz was inspired by a dream she had. "I had been keeping a journal of my dreams for the last nine years. Last year I decided to review them and came across one particular dream from 2002 which stood out. In the dream, I was asked to draw myself. I wondered whether I should draw myself as sad or as a singer. This was too powerful to ignore. I realised I needed to take action."
She teamed up with Simon Colam, a jazz pianist who coached contestants on the X Factor, and put together the album. "I feel like I have arrived home and that this is what I am meant to be doing. Even while doing the recording I was having such a ball."
Mrs Morris, who lives in north London, is also getting ready to gig at the New End Theatre on Sunday, February 28 and Pizza on the Park in Knightsbridge on Wednesday, March 17.