The leads for the UK and Ireland tour took part in a special cast interview during the last week of the tour at Theatre Royal, Norwich.

It’s your last week of the tour how does it feel to finally you know come to the end and be in Norwich as well?

David Hunter: I’m sad, very sad this might be a bit of a bit of a low-key interview for you because we’re just all gutted!
George Crawford: It’s quite surreal actually – we’ve gone so long knowing what the end week would be and then when you finally enter it, it kind of hits you harder than you thought it would have because you can’t prepare for something like finishing a show that you’ve done with the same people for a year. So it’s very surreal but it’s been amazing!
Chelsea Halfpenny: And for some people, they’ve been in the show pre-pandemic, which feels like a lifetime ago, so it’s like three to four years of your life.

The music of the show plays a key part. It’s been used on TikTok, and a success on Spotify – why do you think it’s so popular?

Chelsea: Well Sara Bareilles just writes stunning music – she writes such heartfelt and catchy songs, and not only are they brilliant within the show but I think they’re brilliant as standalone songs because they all tell a story as they are. That’s why I think people will sing them on TikTok or perform them. There’s so many covers of ‘She Used To Be Mine’ because I think it can be interpreted in loads of different ways as well, but ultimately they’re just brilliant stunning songs.

George – you have a song which is probably the most TikTok famous one that I know, it’s so memorable – I saw the show in Southampton and instantly thought “I recognise this song!” Why do you think it’s so popular?

George: Well it’s so catchy! The trend is the bit from ‘oh you can try’ through the chorus and people do loads of different things! One of them is just the thing that’s weird is that some people have done it in a bit of a stalkish way, that the camera will just zoom in on themselves while they’re singing it or the camera will be panning around and they’ll be following it with their face! So it kind of took a darker turn! I’m not the proudest of why it’s so popular, but it’s cool that then people come to the show and recognise it.
Chelsea: A couple of weeks ago, there was a couple of ladies at the front who were actually clapping along which I’ve never experienced before and it brought all of us so much joy!
George: I don’t think I’ve ever really corpsed really badly on stage and I was so, so close that day like I could feel tears in my eyes and I was gripping on to Evie like ‘please, please make it stop’! But going off what chelsea was saying as well, all of Sara’s music regardless of whether they’re in the musical or just stand alone songs, are so story driven that incorporating them into a show is just a no-brainer for someone like Sara to create a musical like this. And it makes it so much easier for us as performers to have such brilliant lyrics and songs – it’s so fun for us to perform, and you’re not having to find ‘why is this lyric here?’ It’s all there for you.
Chelsea: The lyrics just do it for you.

Wendy, What have you enjoyed most learning your role in the show?

Wendy Mae Brown: Doing something completely different – I’ve never worked with props like this before!
David: You didn’t enjoy the props!
Wendy: No! But I enjoyed knowing that I was learning something new that I could say ‘I’ve done this!’ I mean like pick up the fork, put it down on two – if you don’t someone else can’t do what they ned to do. All that was completely unknown to me. I usually just come on and do a big old song and then sit back in my dressing room! This was really good to stretch myself – it’s very unusual for me, and also to work as one of three women, I’ve never really done that, I’m usually a standalone singer, so it’s really nice to work off two other women, especially as great as Chelsea and Evie, and reviews mention how well we work together, and the chemistry we have, which I love, because it doesn’t always work. We work well together and people can tell we care about each other and that means a lot to me.

How about you, David?

David: I get to do the opposite – I get to show off and do a song and then sit in my dressing room! I think every time I’m on stage as long as I’m having fun it works, there’s so much joy in this character and this relationship and this all the songs are so joyful and energetic and there’s always fun to be hard and we do actually corpse quite a lot! So what a brilliant thing to do eight times a week! Often you can have a role where you go out and you know open a vein eight times a week and get depressed and down and you know it can be difficult but this is just joyous.

Evie, what do you what would you say to someone who’s never seen the show before and doesn’t know anything about it?

David: You missed it!
Evelyn Hoskins: It’s hard because I always worry about spoilers in interviews! What can I say to not give it away? It’s so joyous yeah it’s life affirming – you’ll cry happy tears and sad tears. When I went to see it in New York, knowing nothing about it, I just left feeling so uplifted and humming everything. It’s life-affirming I would say is the key.

When I first saw it, I left feeling warmth in my heart.

Evie: I also think it’s an amazing story because it doesn’t fit, although it is focused on romantic relationships, the key relationships are those between friends and I think those are often overlooked in stories so it’s nice to be able to play that.

Lastly – favourite song of the show?

Evie: ‘A Soft Place to Land’ for me!
George: That was mine for the whole tour, and then over like the last couple of weeks it’s turned to ‘It Only Takes A Taste’!
Wendy: ‘A Soft Place to Land’ for me too.
David: ‘Bad Idea’ for me I think at the minute.
Cheslea: ‘Bad Idea’ was my favourite for a long time and then I feel like just as we’re coming to the end, ‘A Soft Place to Land’ – I just feel more sentimental. It’s making me think about the fans who come and see the show all the time, lots are young girls with their whole lives ahead of them. And it’s making me really think about them – they’re always sat in the front row and just they’ve been so supportive, as have many people, and yeah, obviously as one door is closing here for all of us, thinking about what you want next.