Heathers the Musical
Rating: ★★★★
Venue: The Other Palace, London
Cast: Ailsa Davidson, Jacob Fowler, Maddison Firth, Inez Budd and Teleri Hughes

Welcome to Westerberg High where Veronica Sawyer is just another nobody dreaming of a better day. But when she joins the beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers and her dreams of popularity may finally come true, mysterious teen rebel JD teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it is murder being a somebody…

Wickedly funny and with dazzling book, music and lyrics by Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe, HEATHERS THE MUSICAL is based on the 1988 cult hit that starred Winona Ryder and Christian Slater.

I've been lucky enough to see Heathers several times over the past few years, so I was excited to revisit The Other Palace and see a brand new cast tackle the cult classic. The Other Palace is my favourite theatre in London, there's something so intimate and almost comforting about it.

If you're unfamiliar with the 80's classic Heathers, the story focuses on angst-filled teen, Veronica Sawyer, who falls for the new bad boy in school, Jason Dean. What starts as a teenage love story, very quickly descends into a murdering spree. The infamous Heathers run the school, but they won't be in control for much longer...

The show tackles difficult themes such as suicide, coercive relationships, bullying, rape and homophobia. While it's an incredibly dark production, the comedy interwoven throughout is incredibly clever, and somehow manages to keep the majority of the show light. There are many laugh out loud moments, many of which are at the expense of Ram (Scanlon) and Kurt (Maddison), who are the absolute dream team.

Heather Duke (Budd) is the brightest star in this production. While all of the cast are incredible, Inez Budd's "Never Shut Up Again" was exceptional, and she brought a certain quality to the role that I hadn't seen before. Jodie Steele had set the bar high with her portrayal of Heather Chandler, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that Maddison Firth stepped into the role perfectly, and completely embodied the role of mythic bitch. What an absolute powerhouse she is. Heather McNamara's (Hughes) fragile and vulnerable interior was captured beautifully by Teleri, and her rendition of Lifeboat left me feeling choked.

Veronica (Davidson) and JD (Fowler) had a magnetism that meant whenever they were on stage, I found it difficult to take my eyes off them. Fowler plays the damaged psychopath so well, it's almost scary. And Davidson's version of "I Say No" was absolutely sensational. Ailsa Davidson's portrayal of Veronica reminds me of Christina Bennington's portrayal of her, and is the Veronica I prefer. Funny, witty and willing to fight for what's right.

A special mention must go to Jermaine Woods who debuted as not just one character...but three! I had no idea until I left the show. To achieve something like that in one matinee is pretty damn special.

A song I've never particularly liked is Kindergarten Boyfriend. I'll be honest, it's one I usually skip on the soundtrack. However, Lizzie Bea's portrayal of Martha is heartbreakingly beautiful. The song is usually quite serious, but Lizzie manages to take you on a rollercoaster of emotions throughout the song, before shattering your heart into a thousand pieces.

The costumes, set and props were almost identical to every other time I've seen the show in the past. I think the music and the acting are so powerful in this production, that it really doesn't need much visually at all.

The best way to sum up this show is a dark comedy, full of energy, heart and soul. I wasn't sure I'd enjoy Heathers as much without the cast I'd grown to know and love; however, I couldn't be happier to have been proven wrong. Heathers has just been extended until September 2022, and I can't wait to see which direction the show goes in next.

You can buy tickets to Heathers the Musical at The Other Palace, London here: HEATHERS TICKETS

No comments