Sophie Matthew knew she wanted to act from a young age.

Having grown up in Kingston, she went to school in Esher (Claremont School and Esher College), before leaving to train at the Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in Peckham.

Since then, her career has blossomed at each turn, transporting her all the way to the West End, where she is currently starring as Lisa in the Novello Theatre's long-running ABBA-themed hit MAMMA MIA!

"I joined in June when they did the cast change. The audition process was quite a few rounds over several weeks but I ended up getting the job and it's really quite exciting — it's my West End debut so it means a lot," she said.

"We've got an amazing company, the building is great to work in and everyone backstage is amazing. I'm having an absolute ball!"

Surrey Comet: Sophie MatthewSophie Matthew

The experience of performing in one of London's best established theatres is not lost on the former Kingstonian, who toured over the UK before winning her place in the cast.

In contrast to some of the smaller (and bigger) venues she's worked in, the Novello seems to strike a Goldilocks chord with the actor.

"I've done in some tiny regional theatres, I've done the Edinburgh Playhouse which is huge. The Novello is a gorgeous theatre and sits in this really nice size of just over 1,000 people.

"The audiences have been great and people come from all over the world to watch this iconic show, it's pretty mind-blowing and a phenomenal thing to be a part of," Sophie said.

Surrey Comet: MAMMA MIA! at the Novello TheatreMAMMA MIA! at the Novello Theatre

The former Kingston resident, who moved to the town when she was four, revealed that she "kind of always knew I wanted to be an actor" since she was young.

As she developed her craft while moving through school and performing arts academy, she praised the support she got from her family and schools in the area.

"My mum and my sister have both worked in the industry as well so I had some understanding of it and I was really lucky that the school I went to had great acting and music departments and they really encouraged me," she said.

"I used to do dance classes in Cobham and as a kid I was very lucky that I got to learn about it and do some bits before doing Performing Arts at A-Level. Deep down, I knew that if I could get in I always wanted to go to drama school," Sophie added.

While her career has blossomed, and she now describes her job as "the most rewarding thing", Sophie is under no illusions as to the fluctuating nature of working in the creative industries.

"The nature of the job is so unpredictable...some auditions can go really well and some can be absolutely terrible.

"You have to work really hard and it can be a real challenge sometimes, especially if you're out of work and needing to have another job at the same time," she pointed out.

After some deliberation, Sophie cited Phoebe Waller-Bridge, the creator of the transatlantic hits 'Fleabag' and 'Killing Eve', as one of her biggest inspirations working at the moment.

"She made it happen, she starred in it and someone like her who has probably been through the grind and ended up making what I'd say was one of the best things on TV in the last few years is incredible," she said.

So does branching out into writing and directing, like Waller-Bridge, appeal to Sophie Matthew?

"I think I'd love to at some point write something and create something of my own.

"I perform other people's work at the moment which is amazing in its self but it would be something else entirely to create your own piece. So maybe in the future — who knows?"

Sophie is currently starring as Lisa in the Novello Theatre's production of MAMMA MIA!