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Kingsley Morton- interview

Ultimate cult classic, Heathers, has kicked off its UK tour, and you won't want to miss it. Having already had huge successes as a musical production and featuring an addictive track list, the show following Veronica as she befriends the three most popular girls in high school- all called Heather- makes sure to end with a bang.


Read my review from the West End production here:

As part of the new touring cast, Kingsley Morton has given a great insight into how she is taking on her character, and more about the show that proves to be 'big fun'!

 

What is your role, and why did it appeal to you?


I play Martha Dunnstock - she is Veronica’s long time best friend, who sort of gets left behind by Veronica, after she starts hanging with the Heathers. What I have always loved about Martha is that she truly is the heart of the show, she has an optimism and an innocence about her that everyone around her tries to tear away, but no one can quite succeed, which - considering all that she goes through throughout the show - is extremely admirable!




What was your initial reaction to getting the part, and how has the rehearsal process been?


I absolutely love the show, so finding out I had gotten the part was so great! The rehearsal process was super fun, we’re so lucky to have such an awesome cast and team around us on this tour. Everyone is so brilliant both talent wise and as people, so - even though it was quite a fast process - it was made so easy by being in such a lovely, supportive room!




How familiar were you with the production and its crazy plot before taking it on?


I know Heathers as a show quite well, I think I first listened to the soundtrack way back before it had even come over here yet! There are a few changes and additions in this version since that soundtrack (all of which I love!), and I saw the Other Palace production before starting rehearsals, so I knew all of its crazy plot line!  




Have you taken any inspiration from the film, or previous versions of this production, and how are you bringing your own personality into the character?


I think what’s a super interesting fact about Martha Dunnstock in the musical is that she’s actually based on two characters in the film, that have been combined. The character the name comes from Martha, who is a complete outcast and has no friends and is constantly bullied by everyone, and a character called Betty Finn - who used to be Veronica’s best friend since they were kids, until she becomes friends with the Heathers. I try to bring elements in from both of those characters from the film, and - fun fact - I have a little pink sea turtle teddy in my dressing room that I’ve actually named Betty Finn!


The inspiration I took from my own life for the character is actually from my older sister, because she shares so many traits with Martha in the musical, in real life. She has that same optimistic outlook and joy that Martha has… and she also loves unicorns and rainbows and glitter of course! 




How do you anticipate the touring experience to be?


I’ve actually toured before with The Addams Family, I love seeing all the parts of the UK I’ve never been to before. I think I’m most excited for Glasgow, as I’ve never been to Scotland before, as well as a few other stops I have been to that I’m excited to go back to and others I haven’t been to at all!




Do you think Veronica was right to stick with JD for so long in the name of love?


I think Veronica always sees the best in everyone, even if they’re showing her their worst. At the beginning of act two she says ‘they could have turned out good’ about three people who have shown no glimmers of hope or of goodness that the normal eye could see. So it takes a lot for her to give up on from JD and turn on him, especially because she loves him.




What is the most challenging sequence to perform in the show?


I actually think for Martha the hardest sequence in the show comes in act two, when she decides to confide in Veronica her suspicions about JD. It’s a scene with four other people, but Martha can only see one of them! Staying aware of when to speak and what to say and when you can react to someone, while also making sure you seem unaware of the other three people in the scene (and at the same time, unaware of Veronica reacting to those three people you can’t see or hear) is a little mind-bending! 




Which song in the piece sums up the production for you and why?


I think for me it has to be the final song - the Seventeen Reprise. It just sums up the whole point of the show and why it exists. ‘Yes we all have problems and no it’ll never be perfect, but it can be better, we can be better.’ Because the show starts from quite a dark place, and ends up with that message of hope right at the end. 




And lastly, what were your school days like, and what would we find in your locker?


Ahhh, see, I was definitely that theatre kid - who was always sat in the corner with her nose in a book, or on the stairs with her friend, breaking apart the meaning behind the lyrics of bubblegum pop songs, and my locker was always full of sheet music and dance shoes ready for class!


 

Huge thanks to the wonderful Kingsley for her answers to these. I hope you have the best run- I certainly can't wait to get back to Westerberg!


See all the tour dates and get your tickets here:


Additional thanks to Ellie Maltby and Didi Ralph for coordinating this interview.

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