By: Dulcie Harrison, TRP Reviewer
“Dear Diary”… this week is full of big fun because the amazing opportunity to see the West End hit musical Heathers has finally come to our beloved Theatre Royal Plymouth.
Awarded Best New Musical by WhatsOnStage, this amazing black comedy musical is based on the 1989 cult film Heathers and, boy, does it pack a punch! Veronica Sawyer (played by Jenna Innes), a high school outcast, falls prey to the school’s meanest “cool kids” known as the Heathers. A trio of self-important, scrunchie wearing tyrants led by Heather Chandler (Verity Thompson) and her two sidekicks Heather Duke (Elise Zavou) and Heather McNamara (Billie Bowman).
The drive to be accepted and part of a group soon pushes Veronica to the point where she feels she has traded too much of herself in exchange for popularity and sinks into a deep despair. Suddenly, the mysterious teen rebel JD (Jacob Fowler) with a different view of the world. He appears at first sight to be cool, fresh and bright, however the reality is so different and when he turns up, he turns her world upside down.
The story is dark and twisted with an underlying theme of toxicity, friendships, love and survival. Heathers, although dark, has great comedy moments, tackles contemporary teenage issues, complete with songs that fit the story perfectly and the choreography, lighting and effects contributing to a powerful and spectacular performance. All of the cast gave it their all and the characters were so believable. There wasn’t one weak voice, everybody shone at one point.
The set design is everything you would expect from David Shields, an adaptive stage shape shifting and moving itself back 40 years or so to the 80’s. The show was so well put on. There were effects and surprises throughout that were really well done – a couple of costume changes that were almost magical.
Overall, seeing Heathers makes a great night out, it’s an absolute must see for theatre fans, especially those who enjoy musicals and anything retro. It’s also a great excuse to rewatch the film!
Heathers is a fantastic musical, and I feel its overall message is one that comes through loud and clear to the audience – that being popular shouldn’t be the main goal in life, and just being seventeen is good enough.
It’s so nice to look around the auditorium and see flashes of red, green, yellow, and blue as the heathers fandom come dressed as their favourite characters from this show!
The show is shocking, but has you laughing, cheering and at times holding your breath. Be prepared to feel all the emotions as Heathers has it all.