HEATHERS THE MUSICAL | REVIEW

Heathers the Musical
Rating: ★★★★★
Venue: The Other Palace, London

Welcome to Westerberg High, where Veronica Sawyer is just another of the nobodies dreaming of a better day. But when she's unexpectedly taken under the wings of the three beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers, her dreams of popularity finally start to come true. Until JD turns up, the mysterious teen rebel who teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it's murder being a somebody...

I'm not even sure where to begin this review. Although I visit the theatre regularly, there aren't many occassions where I leave a venue feeling like I need to tell the world about my visit. In fact, I think it's only happened twice before. Once when I went to see Wicked. And once when I went to see Sweeney Todd. When I walked out of Heathers? I felt like I just wanted to grab hold of random strangers on the street and scream about my undying love for it. Too much? Thought so...

The prospect of seeing Heathers terrified me. I was sitting front row, in the centre, on my own, to a play that I knew very little about. When Carrie Hope Fletcher was announced as the role of Veronica, I bought tickets instantly. I'm ashamed to say I'd not heard of the show before that - so I did my research! I watched the film, listened to a few of the songs and checked out the cast. I knew the fanbase was an extremely passionate one, so seeing it and knowing very little, was scary. No amount of research could have prepared me for what I was met with, with Heathers.

Let's start with the music. Of course, Heathers was a musical, so one thing it didn't lack, was songs (21, to be exact). In a 2 hour production - that is a lot of music. Every song was filled with emotion, passion, comedic elements, and most importantly, energy. The energy that radiated from every song, from all cast members, was unlike anything I'd ever experienced in a theatre production before. Although no audience members were singing, or dancing - I genuinely felt like I was at a rock concert.

Choosing a favourite song, or a favourite scene is so difficult when everything about a show is so stellar - so I'll choose two. When Carrie and Jamie performed the song Dead Girl Walking, I was genuinely in awe. Yes, it's a sex scene. Something I always find awkward and hard to accomplish well in theatre. I'll be honest: I rocked the hell out to that sex scene. Carrie was riding Jamie; they were singing their hearts out; and awkward Zoe had well and truly left the building by this point.

Another favourite was Dead Gay Son. To avoid spoilers, I can't say too much about the scene itself and what it entails, but this was the greatest scene of celebrating being gay I've ever seen. This scene completely smashed stereotypes out of the park, and I was living for every second of it.

Let us go forth with the acting. I don't think any words could possibly describe how much I adored every single cast member in this performance. Not just the Heathers. Not just Veronica and JD. Every. Single. Member. Because the cast is reasonably small, you felt like you got to know each character really well. Even the secondary ones. Even the ensemble.

I wanted to do a paragraph on stand-out performances, but how can you choose stand-out performances when everyone was so fantastic? I think I'll talk about characters I was surprised to love so much instead.

Ram Sweeney. Jesus Christ. Ram freaking Sweeney. From the start of Beautiful, when Kurt and Ram were up on the balcony part of the stage, I looked up and instantly melted into a puddle of teenage schoolgirl. I know Ram is a chauvinistic, sexist pig but...he was probably my joint favourite character. His naivety and immaturity just made him so lovable - and Dominic Andersen just plays him so god damn well. I feel like his one-liners were a true highlight of the show. And don't even get me started on Kram. I'm living for the (b)romance between Kurt and Ram.

Jamie Muscato. Holy cow. I never cared for JD when I watched the film. I never understood how she was so naive when it came to him. How she couldn't see what he really was. HA. Me watching Heathers? I would have licked the stage floor if he'd come over and asked. His acting really was that captivating. I found myself, much like Veronica, hanging onto every word that left his mouth. His openess and vulnerability just drew you in. He was charming, mysterious. psychotic - and JD, you joined Ram as my joint favourite character. I'm sensing a worrying theme for favourite characters here...

Jodie Steele and Carrie Hope Fletcher. Jodie filled the boots of Heather C so incredibly well. She was quite literally, a mythic bitch. She was fiery, sassy, bitchy - a true embodiment of what Heather Chandler is supposed to be. Seeing how Jodie is out of character - I'm truly in awe of how believable she is at playing a bitch.

And Carrie. How could I not dedicate a paragraph to you? The first time I've ever seen you in a theatre production. Finally. Our Veronica Sawyer. When I found out what Veronica was like, I was so excited to see how Carrie would portray her. I'd seen Carrie at one of her concerts and was completely blown away; but I'd never seen her act. It's hard to put into words, but that was not Carrie up there. She was gone. She was Veronica. For those two hours, Carrie was completely unrecognisable; that's how good she was. Can I also mention how absolutely hilarious she was? She was definitely the funniest character for me, and the most relatable as a used-to-be teen. I wish I'd been more like Veronica in secondary school. Carrie's voice is other-worldly. It truly baffles the mind how she hits the notes she does. The same goes for Jodie actually; that note in Candy Store: wow.

A mention also has to be given to the backdrop and stage setting. Sitting front row, I seriously felt like I was a student at Westerberg High. Glad I wasn't though - don't think my odds would have been too good...

So I sat on my own, slurping my Freeze Your Brain slushie, clutching my play-text, programme and "How Very" t-shirt, and quite literally had the best theatre experience of my life. And that is no small feat. I laughed. I cried. I gasped. I swooned. And what did I do as soon as I left the theatre? I booked to see it again, of course. See you on September 20th. Colour me stoked.

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