After the passing of her Mum, Annie, Denise Welch has taken time out of her tour of Steel Magnolias to be with her family and left the role of Truvy in the capable hands of her understudy Lisa Peace.

However one of Annie's last wishes was to see Denise return to the Theatre Royal in her home town of Newcastle and she will be appearing there starting Monday May 28 May.

A member of the Steel Magnolias team said "Denise is a much loved member of this company and our thoughts are with her and her family at this difficult time. We are all thrilled she is returning to the show next week as we have all missed her very much indeed".

Denise said: "Mum had been looking forward to seeing me at the Theatre Royal, she will be forever in my heart and I will be dedicating my performances next week to my Mum. My Dad Vin is coming next Tuesday with lots of our family and friends and I hope they will be proud of me."