It's the lion, the tinman, the scarecrow, three witches, the wizard and of course Dorothy - but not as you would expect them. The iconic characters are back on stage but this time in the Motown version of The Wizard of Oz, called The Wiz.

"The characters are a bit more comic and Dorothy is more feisty and ballsy," says Aditi Sawjani, who will be playing lead in Vivo D'Arte's forthcoming production.

In the original 1970s film of The Wiz, which also starred Michael Jackson, Dorothy was played by Diana Ross, and Aditi admits there is some pressure to do the role justice.

The 30-year-old, from Stanmore says: "She played it so beautifully and there's so much emotion in her performance, especially in the final scenes - she is crying her eyes out when she has to go home. I watched the show and I just tried to draw on the emotional part of what she brings to the character.

"It's quite an iconic role and Diana Ross did it so many years ago that I am sure many of the younger audiences won't have seen the original film and this gives me a chance to put my own twist on it.

"We've made a lot of changes to the wording," explains Aditi, who has played Dorothy before. "We have tried to update the jokes and the words to make it more current and appeal to kids today."

The former North London Collegiate School pupil, who grew up in Bushey, is a solicitor at Fladgate LLP law firm in London by day and actress by night and has often been asked by her friends how she manages to fit it all in... especially as she is currently redecorating her house and is often seeing family for big dinners or lunches.

"Juggling the two is not easy," she admits. "I had to really make sure that I prioritised my job but also make time for rehearsals. Vivo rehearse on weekends, sometimes on weeknights, which can be difficult, but it’s not too bad.

"I’m one of those people that can’t just sit around and watch TV every evening. It’s a really nice way to let go, it’s a good form of exercise, you get to meet new people and it just adds another dimension to day-to-day life.

"The one song that particularly gets me is the closing song of The Wiz, called Home – it’s just really emotional song and actually at my birthday party last month, my friends sang that song and changed the lyrics to make it about me. That’s probably my favourite song."

Aditi, who has had no professional training in musical theatre, adds: "I have been performing and doing musicals for about five years and Vivo D'Arte approached me twice about joining them for a production after they saw me in Grease and Hairspray at The Alban Arena. Before that I was just going to drama classes and dances classes at school and university. I got involved in doing musicals and I have hopped around a few companies, but it is only as a hobby."

The UCL Economics graduate's favourite musical is Wicked and her dream role would be Elphaba, but when I asked if she would ever audition for the role, she said no.

"I value my job, I value the time I have at home with my family. If I were to ever pursue a career in the West End, it would require quite a lot of my life – you are basically giving up a lot of your evenings, which I don’t think would be fair.

"I have always had a passion of performing and I think I have quite a good balance at the moment."

Aditi's biggest support network has come from her parents, she says. Since she was four-years-old she has done ballet and jazz dance, she went to theatre school at the weekends and after school as well as doing a bit of drama and singing.

"It is something that I have kept up throughout school and uni. I did a bit of teaching and choreography and I absolutely love it. My parents have always been a massive support - my mum used to run around me, dropping me to all my classes and picking me up then taking me to the next place. They come and see all my shows, they are there on the front row."

Watford Palace Theatre, Clarendon Road, Watford, July 27-30. Details: 01923 225671,