IT was a High Court trial which captured the public’s imagination. The wives of two high profile footballers involved in a bitter wrangle that was meat and drink to the tabloids.

Coleen Rooney, wife of England star Wayne Rooney, accused Rebekah Vardy, wife of England striker Jamie Vardy of leaking posts from her private Instagram account to the Sun.

Vardy in turn sued for libel leading to a seven-day trial.

Vardy v Rooney: The Wagatha Christie Trial based on verbatim transcripts from the trial became an unlikely hit in London’s West End. Now it is embarking on its first UK tour, including dates at The Lowry, Salford Quays, next month.

“It’s all been such a whirlwind,” said Laura Dos Santos who plays Coleen Rooney in the show. “We had a week of rehearsals and the idea was that we would just do one show which might be a bit rough and ready.

“We really didn’t know if it would work or even if there would be an appetite for such a show. But that first show sold out in less than half an hour.”

Demand was so great that six extra shows were planned in the West End, using the Wyndham Theatre on nights when the Life of Pi was on a rest day. Then show then transferred to the Ambassadors Theatre for an extended run.

Lancashire Telegraph: Lucy May Barker (Rebekah Vardy), Laura Dos Santos (Coleen Rooney) in Vardy v Rooney: The Wagatha Christie Trial (Picture: Tristran Kenton)

“The whole thing just escalated,” said Laura. “It’s been mad but it’s also been such a fun show to work on.

“We’re sad to be leaving the West End but looking forward to going on tour to see how this goes down in the rest of the country. It’ll be interesting to see whether it has same impact or more of an impact.

“The audience is a real part of the show and I’m excited to see where we go with that.”

Laura admits that she hadn’t followed the Vardy v Rooney spat when it happened.

“I don’t really do social media,” she said, “so I wasn’t as keyed into it all as some people. Obviously I saw it on the news but it wasn’t until I was sent the script that I really got involved.

“My first thought was ‘can you really make a play out of a court case? but when you read it, it’s one of those things you really couldn’t write. It’s so funny in parts and for me the humanity of the women just oozes out. That’s what I’ve tried to capture in the show.”

The job of turning seven days of witness statements. cross examinations and legal arguments into a production fell to Liv Hennessy.

“She used the transcripts to produce what she calls the 90 minute match highlights,” said Laura. And Laura was in no doubt that she wanted to take on the challenges presented by the play.

Lancashire Telegraph: Lucy May Barker (Rebekah Vardy), Laura Dos Santos (Coleen Rooney) in Vardy v Rooney: The Wagatha Christie Trial (Picture: Tristran Kenton)

“It’s always nerve racking to play somebody who is a real person never mind someone this has happened to so recently, it’s not a period piece.

“It’s very raw and fresh for everyone involved. That’s a massive responsibility but it is also very exciting.

“When you are at drama school you never think that you’ll be telling your friends, come and see me play Coleen Rooney, but when I read the script knew it was unique and a brilliant opportunity that I could not not do.”

Laura and her co-star Lucy May Barker who plays Rebekah Vardy were both determined to to turn the two women into caricatures.

“We wanted to make sure that when you come to show you’re not laughing at them but getting an insight into how they ended up there, what drove both of them this the point.

“Whichever side you are on, whether that’s Team Rooney or Team Vardy both women are victims. Both Lucy and I did not want to do parodies of these women, that serves nobody and it’s not interesting as an actor.

“We watched a lot footage of them to see how they moved and to learn their mannerisms as we wanted people to identify them. But having done that we moved away to find their motivation and to challenge the stereotypes.

“Of course we were blessed to have their actual, real words. It’s not a fictional version of what might have happened in court, it is what they said.

“As an actor that’s a gift as you can see how they are feeling from what they themselves said.

“For me playing Coleen, her testimony was so open and honest and even blunt. You get such a sense of this woman’s integrity and strength of character. People don’t necessarily expect that.”

Although from Liverpool, Laura did not try to do an impression of Coleen.

“My accent is quite different from Coleen’s and I didn’t want an audience to just listen to a Liverpool accent and think that was funny; I wanted to make sure they are listening to her words. She is really bright and intelligent and really savvy, as is Rebecca.”

In the real trial Coleen arrived at court on the first day with her foot in a ‘boot’ due to an injury. Laura has inherited the boot for the play.

Lancashire Telegraph: Laura Dos Santos as Coleen Rooney (PIcture: Tristram Kenton)

“Most people get why,” she said, “but some have said ‘oh the poor actress must have hurt herself!”

Laura has found that although audiences may come with preconceived ideas, the production does raise many questions.

“You have to remember this is not filtered or a soundbite,” she said. “Unless you were there in court every day it’s the closest you’ll get. It’s about giving them back their voices.

“It also raises so many serious questions about social media, privacy and families. Even if you came thinking you’re just going to have a right old laugh, it gives you a lot more than that. It ticks all the boxes and is really good fun. And yes, it’s not Hamlet but it’s not silly, it has something to say.”

Vardy v Rooney: The Wagatha Christie Trial, The Lowry, Salford Quays, Friday, June 9 to Sunday, June 11. Details from