KIMBERLEY Walsh says her new musical is potentially ‘paving the way’ for more returns for live theatre following the shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The Bradford-born singer-turned actress will co-star in Sleepless – Musical Romance’, the Sleepless in Seattle musical which opens at the Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre in London on August 25.

It will become the first production to welcome a live audience since live venues were shut when lockdown was introduced in March.

She plays Annie in the musical, opposite fellow singer Jay McGuiness, in the stage adaption of the 1993 film starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

Kimberley says the North London venue will adhere to social distancing guidelines and offers a glimmer of hope to other theatre productions across the country.

Speaking on Good Morning Britain from her North London home, she said: “We are at a modern theatre, which is a huge open space.

“We have been able to take out seats in the auditorium. A huge bar area, loads of toilets. We can move forward with social distancing which can take place. We are very lucky.

“It has been a tough time for everybody in the theatre.

“We are paving the way to give everybody a glimmer of hope to enjoy a little bit of light entertainment again.”

She added it has been nice to see some of her fellow Girls Aloud band members and her friends and family members since the lockdown restrictions were lifted.