Where to start with my review of the Heathers The Musical Uk Tour at the Palace Theatre Manchester? You know when you go to the theatre expecting one thing and get something totally different? It sort of throws you. Especially as when I don’t know a story, I like to go in blind.
When I got invited to Review Heathers The Musical Uk Tour I watched the trailer which gave nothing away, and left it there. It looked like a fun show. However, what you actually get is a production that has so many layers, you have no idea what to expect next. Which I didn’t see it coming.
What Is Heathers The Musical About?
It’s 1989 and a new term at Westerberg High, all Verorica Sawyer ( Rebecca Wickes) wants to do, is fit in and be popular and survive her senior year. However Westerberg High like many high schools is split into groups, those who fit in and are popular, those who don’t and the Heathers (Maddison Firth, Merryl Ansah and Lizzy Parker) the girls everyone adores, the mean girls.
When Veronica stumbles across an opportunity to become part of the Heathers gang because of her forgery skills, she seizes it. Even though deep down she knows it’s the wrong decision. She casts her long term best friend Martha (Mhairi Angus) aside to be be part of the in-crowd. A decision that will change not only Veronicas life, but the whole school forever.
Meanwhile Veronica’s interest is also raised by the new boy J.D (Simon Gordon). A loner with a different view of the world. Who appears at first sight to be cool fresh and bright, however the reality is so different.
Veronica finds herself juggling keeping the cool crowd and J.D happy, whilst being what they all want her to be. This is until she is faced with being part of the in-crowd or protecting Martha from their cruelty. Ultimately she makes the right choice leaving her cast out, until J.D convinces her to murder one of the Heathers and fake a suicide note.
The note triggers a whole campaign around teen suicide, which raises mixed emotions and reaction in her peers but also portrays Heather in a flattering version of herself. It is also the catalyst for J.D to evolve into a serial killer.
Heathers Is Packed Full Of Lessons
It shows teenage years through a warped, exaggerated alarming angle. However I feel it needed to be so to create the gritty atmosphere it achieves. Looking a murder, disturbed minds, bullying, date rape, homophobia and loneliness is no easy task.
However and this is a big however, it does it in a tongue in cheek way. A way that doesn’t trivialise the issues, but delicately places the seed of thought in your mind with a sledgehammer. That sounds bonkers but its the only way I can describe it.
Despite all the teen angst, Heathers is upbeat, the score is glorious which counteracts the horrors of the story. There wasn’t one weak voice, everybody shone at one point. My favourite moments musically, and trust me this was difficulty to decide were Dead Girl Walking and Kindergarten Boyfriend.
Although My Dead Gay Son had the audience cheering, despite the undertone, it was hilarious and empowering. Whilst Lifeboat showed that even mean girls capable of scenes such as Candy Store have a vulnerable side.
Heathers The Musical is so far from the saccharine fuelled feel good show I expected, it has depth and so many lessons. It is shocking, but has you laughing, cheering and at times holding your breath. Would I recommend it? Absolutely, but prepared to feel all the emotions as Heathers has it all.
Heathers The musical is showing at Manchester Palace Theatre until the 9th October and tours the UK until December. Check out AGT Ticket for seats and prices.
I was invited to see Heathers The Musical but all opinions are my own. Find more theatre reviews in my theatre section, and on a final note, how wonderful is it to have theatre back?