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Footloose bounces back to a St. John's stage after bad break

It's a musical full of dance numbers, and the lead actor is on crutches. But a Mount Pearl school says the show must go on.

O'Donel High School musical opens Friday with lead actor on crutches

O'Donel's Footloose opens up this Friday in St. John's. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

In a musical that's literally about dancing, the lead actor is ready to hit the stage with two silver crutches.

Andrew Hepditch keeps pushing himself as the O'Donel High School production of Footloose gets ready for its opening on Friday.

"It's definitely made me have to change a few things," said Hepditch.

"I think it just adds a uniqueness to the show. It won't be one people will forget."

​Hepditch suffered a serious break in his leg while rollerblading in February, just days before the curtain was set to rise on the original opening date, so the production was postponed and moved from the St. John's Arts and Culture Centre to Holy Heart Theatre.

"We kind of scrambled to see what we were going to do," said Greg White, director and theatre arts teacher at the Mount Pearl school.

"Being a school we wanted to be inclusive so we made the necessary changes to get him in the show."

Andrew Hepditch will sport a boot on his bad leg and perform in crutches. (Jeremy Eaton/CBC)

Hepditch was upset for the other 66 students in the show.

"It was such a devastating feeling, I wasn't even sad because I couldn't do the show," he said.

"I [felt like] I've let everybody down."

Hepditch turned to his co-star, Brianna Hepditch (no relation) for a little moral support. 

"I was on the phone with him crying," she said.

"We cannot do the show without him."

O'Donel High School's version of the musical hits the stage after broken leg delay 3:04

Hepditch has had about four weeks to heal. While he's not back to his usual dancing form, he will be in the lead role — with the help of his crutches.

"I think it really brought us closer together," Brianna Hepditch said.

"We never had this energy that we have right now, we've never been so excited. We really feel like a family now."

Hepditch called the past few weeks a "roller coaster of emotions" and said the support from O'Donel has been incredible. 

"The fact that everyone was willing to do it for me just says a lot about how amazing a school it is."