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Reviewed: Heathers The Musical at Curve

Celebrating the 200th performance of #HeathersOnTour in Leicester.

The cast of Heathers at Curve striking the same dance move
Cast of Heathers - UK Tour 2023 - Photos by Pamela Raith

Based on the 1989 film of the same name written by Daniel Waters, Laurence O'Keefe and Kevin Murphy have created a new fan favourite with this West End smash-hit.


The dark and twisted story follows the narrated diary written by Veronica Sawyer (Jenna Innes) who starts act one as a high school misfit with a desire to climb the ranks of Westerberg High School’s social ladder.


Innes carries the show with impressive vocals and energetic stamina to match the over-arching heavy themes of bullying, suicide and sexual assault.


The red, green and yellow Heathers crowd around Veronica Sawyer dressed in casual layers
(L-R) Verity Thompson, Jenna Innes, Elise Zavou

As quickly as we get to know Veronica, we're also introduced to the infamous Heathers. Heather Chandler is the perfect High School mean girl, giving the likes of Regina George a run for their money. Verity Thomson’s Chandler is hard to un-watch, and is perfectly matched with her name-sake sidekicks Heather Duke (Elise Zavou) and Heather McNamara (cover from Eliza Bowden) who matched the characteristics that come with their green and yellow uniform’s perfectly.


Kurt Kelley (Alex Woodward) and Ram Sweeney (Morgan Jackson) made for a likeable jock duo who you want to dislike but can’t resist their idiotic charm. On the opposite side of the scale, JD (Jacob Fowler) had a well-executed character arc, starting with a mysterious allure and ending as quite the villain.


Direction by Andy Fickman made all of these characters shine, kept us entertained, and captured our attention through countless musical numbers. I often find the lets-sing-a-song-rather-than-talking side of musicals hard to be un-cringed by, but the 22-piece soundtrack matched with the cast’s impressive vocals and live music directed by Will Joy made me finally understand the Heathers hype.


The three Heathers in green, red and yellow pose intimidatingly and are surrounded by a purple haze
(L-R) Elise Zavou, Verity Thompson and Billie Bowman

I think it’s safe to say we have TikTok to thank for this hype, with the tour being documented by past and present cast members and fans creating their own representations of some of the trending numbers from the show. Although this brought a younger audience to the Curve, I was pleasantly surprised by how respectful the packed audience was. Often with the big musicals, you can hear a few hardcore fans singing along, but what we had last night was an uproar of appreciation after every song.


Stand-out numbers were Candy Store, Dead Girl Walking and My Dead Gay Son, all of which had cheers to follow and have been stuck in my head since the show ended.


Seventeen was also a memorable moment of the show, with the lyrics encapsulating the main theme of this story whilst completing the stereotypical trope that ends narratives like these.


Despite the drama and stipulations of high school, teens just need to be teens, and the happy ending was met with a standing ovation and scrunchies flying to the stage in appreciation.

The Heathers cast at Curve pose with fists in the air in unison
Cast of Heathers - UK Tour 2023 - photos by Pamela Raith

It was impressive to see no obvious slip-ups on the first night in a new home, and it’s safe to say I will be booking singing and dance lessons as soon as possible to tackle the newfound theatre FOMO I have developed from this cast.


The age guidance is 14+ as the production contains strong language and mature themes including references to suicide and eating disorders, moments of violence, murder, sexual violence, gunshots and flashing lights.


If you’re ready to dust off your red, green, yellow or blue blazer and emerge yourself in the world of Heathers, you can visit the Curve to see Heathers until Saturday, August 19.


★★★★★

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