The mysteries of men, dating, finding Mr Right, and motherhood are explored in Sex In Suburbia, the new comedy starring Claire Sweeney that will open a UK tour in Wimbledon in February.

With West End credits that include Chicago, Guys and Dolls, Educating Rita and television roles in Brookside, Clocking Off and Merseybeat, Claire has established herself as one of the most versatile talents in the UK.

Louisa Clarence-Smith catches up with Claire Sweeney in between rehearsals.

Louisa Clarence-Smith: Where did the idea for Sex In Suburbia come from?

Claire Sweeney: All the appallingly bad dates my friends and I have ever experienced.

We’d tell each other what had happened and get over the horror of the experiences by laughing about them.

Then, about two years ago, my close friend Mandy Muden and I started writing them all down in my front room with the notion of turning them into a comedy.

At first we weren’t even sure if we were funny. But the play went down a storm with the audiences last year when it first opened in Liverpool.

We take them through every emotion and they enjoy themselves so much that they get up to dance in the aisles and sing along to the big musical anthems we’ve included, such as I’m Every Woman, I Want To Break Free and, of course, I Will Survive.

LCS: What happens in the show?

CS: It’s all about the eternal subject of love and romance, and the quest to find Mr Right through a series of mainly unsatisfactory dating experiences.

But we’ve tried to take the bad out of the date and make the audience laugh by helping them to see the funny side.

In our comedy the host of a late-night radio show is Britain’s leading agony aunt and she takes calls from listeners about their dates from hell - and the occasional one from heaven - and dishes out her advice.

In the original show I played a relationship expert, but this time around I play myself - a working mum with a baby.

I decided to update it because my baby boy Jaxon, who was born in September, has changed my outlook on life around. As a result, I’ve injected my own personal experiences of motherhood into the show.

LCS: Have you included your own experiences of dating?

CS: Yes, all the material comes from me and my friends. I’m the woman who goes on all these dodgy dates looking for love and then reaches a stage in her life when she would like to settle down and become a Mum!

LCS: Did you think twice about putting your own material in?

CS: No, I found it liberating. I’ve changed the names and places but a few of the dates are based on my real dating experiences.

I thought they were funny and I’m glad all the women who saw them in the show thought so too. You have to laugh in the face of adversity, don’t you?

At first you go, ‘Woe is me!’ but then you turn it into a funny story and laugh.

LCS: What are some of the more outlandish dates experienced by friends?

CS: Well, one of them found the macho man she was dating wearing a frilly rah-rah dress!

There’s another extraordinary tale about a cross-dresser. It’s the true story of a woman married to an uncommunicative, unpleasant man who suddenly discovers that he likes to wear women’s clothes.

After the initial shock, she becomes the best of friends with his alter ego - who’s softer, warm and kind - and it saves their marriage.

There’s another cautionary tale that carries the warning, ‘be careful what you wish for.’ A man wants to take his wife to a ‘swingers’ club, but she is reluctant.

When he finally persuades her to experiment, she ends up loving it. He becomes jealous and they end up getting divorced. But there’s nothing vulgar about our show; we’ve made it sympathetic and most of all, amusing.

Sex in Suburbia; New Wimbledon Theatre, 93 the Broadway, Wimbledon, Feb 20 and Feb 21; 7.30pm; £21.90 to £28.90;