The UK touring production of Heathers started with a great performance on its’ opening night at the Regent Theatre.
The musical is based on the 1980s film. It’s a black comedy and follows the pupils of Westerburg High School, Ohio, as they deal with bullying, teenage suicide and sexual violence.
Veronica Sawyer (Jenna Innes) longs to be part of the clique of three girls, (many of us have been there),The Heathers, but once accepted realises they are really cruel and bullies.
Veronica becomes attracted to newcomer, the aloof and sinister Jason ‘JD’ Dean (Jacob Fowler). After the accidental death of Heather Chandler (Verity Thompson), JD convinces Veronica to cover it up as a suicide and that the world is better off without her. The couple then have other members of the cruel yet popular elite in their sights as the scenes turn ever darker.
Heathers contains a large number of high energy, powerful numbers including Beautiful where Veronica reflects on the cruelty of High School after the innocence of childhood, Candy Store where the Heathers assert their dominance and Dead Girl Walking where a very drunk Veronica seduces JD after being threatened by the Heathers for daring to challenge them.
The gospel inspired My Dead Gay Son opens Act two and provides relief to the darkness and heavy end of Act One. The talented, energetic cast for this tour work together brilliantly to create a convincing reflection of life in high school. However for me,Verity Thompson steals the show.
The choreography is interspersed with a few freeze frame and slow mo moments where Veronica has ‘Dear Diary’ monologues, reflecting on what is happening around her.
The changes are swift and with very few props used it reflects the different locations from high school to JD’s bedroom, from a cow pasture at midnight to the inside of a church with ease.
Due to the themes depicted in the show Heathers is recommended for an audience of age 14 upwards. It is certainly thought provoking and was given a great reception by the virtually full audience.
Please note that this production contains strong language and mature themes including: references to suicide and eating disorders; moments of violence; murder; sexual content; sexual violence; gunshots and flashing lights.
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