Heathers – The Musical (Pamela Raith Photography)
Greetings and salutations. Cult fan favourite (and one of mine), Heathers: the Musical, enjoyed two record-breaking seasons, launching at London’s The Other Palace and transferring to the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2018. Heathers is based on the film by Daniel Waters and has a book, music and lyrics by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe. We both saw Heathers at The Other Palace in 2018 and it quickly became one of our favourite trips to London. The Broadway recording is in my car and the London recording is a regular Spotify favourite. I was extremely eager to see what this touring production had to offer.
Heathers is a cult classic 1980s movie featuring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. The musical is based on the much loved 1988 film which follows a group of popular teenage “mean” girls, three who share the first name Heather, at Westerberg High School. In the musical version, Veronica leaves her nerdy life behind and joins the elitist Heathers clique but soon learns that being popular isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be. When she meets rebellious mysterious handsome student Jason “J.D.” Dean they both want to teach certain students some killer lessons…
Produced by Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor-Mills, this production directed by Andy Fickman hits the UK audiences with a fierce, nostalgic energy. The production features an iconic Westerberg High backdrop by Designer, David Shields, and the colourful scrunchy clad costumes that Heathers fans know and love. It was also amazing to see so many wonderful costumes from the Birmingham audience as the hardcore Heathers fans were out in force.
The 2021 touring Class of Westerberg High includes the almighty powerhouse that is Rebecca Wickes as Veronica Sawyer. Rebecca delivered a warm, funny, likeable performance as Veronica with phenomenal vocals throughout. Alongside her, Simon Gordon gave the audience a mysterious brooding charismatic “JD” and the two together delivered some of my favourite songs with passion and perfect harmonies in Our Love Is God and Seventeen.
The dynamic trio of mischief and popularity, the three Heathers, played by Maddison Firth (Heather Chandler), Merryl Ansah (Heather Duke) and Lizzy Parker (Heather McNamara) delivered the sassy routines and vocals with such ferocity and confidence. Candy Store packed a punch as they gave the audience a taste of what the mean Heathers were capable of.
Some of my stand out performances were from Mhairi Angus (Martha Dunnstock) who gave a gentle, beautiful performance of Kindergarten Boyfriend whilst Liam Doyle (Kurt Kelly) and Rory Phelan (Ram Sweeney) gave comedic, slick and synchronised performances as the two loveable/hateable popular jocks. One of my favourite moments in the show was the hilarious and creative fight scene between JD, Kurt and Ram. The popular audience favourite, My Dead Gay Son, had a huge reception thanks to the larger than life performances by Andy Brady (Kurt’s Dad) and Kurt Kansley (Ram’s Dad). Similarly the dazzling infectious number, Shine a Light (Ms. Fleming – Georgina Hagen), lifted the spirits of the audience with laughs all around. This small cast ensemble is completed with Callum Connolly, Rhiane Drummond, Bayley Hart (Veronica’s Mum on the night), Benjamin Karren, Sam Stones, May Tether and Daisy Twells who delivered the quirky, cool choreography (Choreographer Gary Lloyd) with energy and spirit.
This touring production stands on its own as this superbly talented cast delivered a fantastic production of this witty, edgy, dark musical. If you are already a fan of Heathers then you will enjoy watching this musical bring some of your favourite characters to life and put them centre stage. Like Rocky Horror, this show will always have its hardcore fans and I am definitely one of them.
For a fun, edgy, brain freezing night at the theatre, Heathers has everything you could possibly need and more.
Heathers the Musical opened in Leeds and will visit cities throughout the UK and Ireland,including Liverpool, Nottingham, Newcastle, Sheffield, Birmingham, Canterbury, Manchester, Belfast, Dublin, Brighton, Wimbledon, Bristol, Milton Keynes, High Wycombe, Cardiff and Edinburgh.
We say: “This production is a little slice of Heathers heaven. How very very very spectacular.“