X Factor and musical theatre star Brenda Edwards has returned to the Hairspray cast for the latest UK tour as sassy Motormouth Maybelle.

Here is what she had to say after the show's first night in Swansea on Tuesday, July 24.

How did you find the opening night of Hairspray at Swansea Grand Theatre?

It was amazing. The crowd were on our side all the way through the show and the standing ovation at the end was excellent to see. I loved the fact that the crowd clapped during the scene when Penny’s mum finally accepted Seaweed. The show is about integration and I think Swansea really got the meaning behind the story.

How were rehearsals leading up to the tour?

We began rehearsals a few weeks before the tour began in May but they were intense, full on and fast paced.

The cast are so talented and I enjoyed getting to know everyone. The energy levels are so high from the start, all the way through. From Good Morning Baltimore to You Can’t Stop the Beat there is just so much going on.

Within two weeks, we were doing act one and had staggered act two. So, by week three we were on just getting it into our bodies.

What’s your favourite moment or song in the show and why?

I just love You Can’t Stop the Beat because it goes through so many different gear changes – In rehearsals its known as Beat 1 Beat 2 and Beat 3 and as I said I like the way it just brings us all together that’s the point where everybody is together, and I think its brilliant.

How do you get yourself into the role of Motormouth Maybelle?

As soon as I put on the blonde wig I get into character. She has amazing costumes, amazing jewellery and she’s a fantastic character to play.

She is one of my favourite characters I’ve played. She’s up there with Killer Queen (We Will Rock You) and Mama Morton (Chicago).

Where has been your favourite stop on the tour?

I really enjoyed Dublin. They were crazy, and the theatre was beautiful. I felt as if we were a pop concert more than a musical.

Can you tell us a bit about your experience on The X Factor? Would you recommend people to audition?

I really enjoyed the show when I was on it in 2005.There were a lot of rehearsals before each Saturday night live show, so you always had to be on your game. It was exciting as well as challenging at the same time.

It isn’t very different to the stage as the live shows were in front of a studio audience. I think it really did prepare me mentally for this industry.

I still speak to my fellow contestant Chico. The show is a fantastic platform and I would advise people who audition to remain true to yourself and be mentally prepared.