Former X Factor hopeful Diana Vickers hit the West End last night as the star of a new production of Jim Cartwright’s The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

The opening night saw the reality TV star don a long sequinned dress for the performance at London’s Vaudeville Theatre – the home for the production until January.

The story follows a teenage star who mimics musical legends including Dame Shirley Bassey, Edith Piaf and Marilyn Monroe.

Diana said: “Obviously, it’s quite hard playing a shy person when I’m not. It’s quite hard to express yourself through facial expressions when I use my hands a lot, I talk a lot.

“But when I get up on that stage in my silver frock and I’m doing all these diva things it’s just amazing. I’m not Vickers, I’m just all these different people.

“LV expresses herself through these people and I can totally understand why she would do that. It’s just this great sense of freedom and it’s great.

“There were some singers I’d never heard of. I didn’t know who Edith Piaf was – I saw her on the Specsavers advert. I knew Judy Garland, but not a lot of her songs, just Somewhere Over The Rainbow.

She added: “I was really nervous but so excited as well, it was like my own little project and took it upon myself and worked so hard at it and I really enjoyed it as well.

“I used to look them up on YouTube and now I always listen to Judy Garland all the time, I think she’s great.”

She appears alongside Marc Warren who plays her agent and wheeler-dealer Ray Say and Lesley Sharp as Little Voice’s mother.

Diana revealed that her former X Factor mentor Cheryl Cole is coming to watch her in the play.