In three short years working as a professional actress, Victoria Emslie appeared alongside Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones in James Marsh’s biopic The Theory of Everything, in which she plays one of Stephen Hawking’s carers and then landed her dream role in Downton Abbey as well as appearing in The Danish Girl in 2015.

Her current role in Lotty’s War, which sees her take the lead in the true story of a woman whose loyalties waver during the war in the face of forbidden love, will bring her to the Theatre Royal Windsor from tomorrow, May 16.

Surprisingly, however, Victoria kept her passion for the theatre a little quiet while growing up, admitting that it was more of a secret interest explored from the privacy of her own home.

“I was never an outgoing child. I was quite introverted and quiet; I kept myself to myself. School plays were a bit of an outlet but I was never the leading lady. It’s nice to be an adult and get proper parts.”

By the time Victoria left school she still didn’t have the confidence to pursue acting and instead went on to complete an MA in Arabic and French at the University of St Andrews, but admits to spending most of her time in the theatre instead of in lectures.

After graduating – which she managed to do despite “skipping so many classes” - she took the plunge and moved to London to study for another MA, this time in Acting for Screen at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Unfortunately, due to studying acting for the screen and not the stage, Victoria admits to finding it difficult to get roles in the theatre.

“Lotty’s War were the first to take me seriously because of my masters,” she says. “It’s nice to finally be given the opportunity to be back on stage. I was really enthusiastic in my audition.

“It’s been great but it’s been a baptism of fire. It was a short rehearsal period and I had 84 pages to learn, I’m on every single page and I’m in charge of a lot of props, there’s been a lot of logistical things to learn. There is a cast of three so it’s intimate, which is great.

“You don’t see as many great female parts. For a woman it’s great to be on stage for the entire time. It’s nice that the writer gave that time to a woman.”

Her studies in screen acting have not gone to waste, she admits to having had amazing luck with auditions including that for award winning ITV period drama Downton Abbey. She appeared in the sixth and final series of the show as Audrey, Lady Edith’s secretary at The Sketch.

“Every single year I watched the Christmas episode with my family and each year I would say ‘next year, next year I want to do it’. In the audition I put on this wonderful costume and tried my best. I cried for a full hour when I found out I got the part.

“I’d watched it for six years and it was exactly how I expected, like being with a family, it was just wonderful. All of my costumes were from the ‘20s, I remember looking in the mirror and thinking ‘I can’t believe this is my job’.”

So if she had to choose between theatre and TV… She just can’t.

“The nice thing about theatre is the immediate response, they push you to play more and you can see what’s working, but then film and TV is a magical world. In theatre you’re the most important thing but in TV you’re not, you just get on with your job and I quite like that.”

Theatre Royal Windsor, Thame Street, Windsor, Berkshire, SL4 1PS, Monday, May 16 until Saturday, May 21. Details: 01753 853444