Review - Heathers The Musical - National Tour

Heathers The Musical - National Tour

Heathers The Musical tells the story of Veronica Sawyer (Jenna Innes) who goes to school at Westerberg High, in 1989. She makes friends with the popular kids: The Heathers, Heather Chandler (Verity Thompson), Heather Duke (Elise Zavou) and Heather McNamara (Billie Bowman), and falls for the quiet and edgy J.D. (Jacob Fowler). What starts off like a teenage angst kind of story takes a dark, yet comedic turn including bleach, guns and suicide and even results in the jocks of the school, Kurt Kelly (Liam Dean) and Ram Sweeney (Morgan Jackson) stripped down to their underwear!

Something great about this show is that it has such a cult-like following, but even if it’s your first viewing of the show, you can feel the excitement from the die-hard Heathers fans, as well as those new to the show. The performance even starts with your classic pre-show announcement: “please turn off your cell phones because it’s 1989 and they haven’t been invented yet”. In a way, the show is sort of like a spoof of a cheesy teenage drama musical. It’s cheesy in its own way but almost mocks itself with its mix of the dark comedy with the brilliantly overplayed stereotypes of the popular ones, the bullies, the nerds and the teachers.

The person that stood out to me is Billie Bowman who plays Heather McNamara. She is an amazing performer and takes the audience on the journey of Heather McNamara’s character arc. The little things she brings to the role are amazing. The characterisation is just sensational, as she suits the role perfectly. She is simply flawless, and though she might not be singled out from the other Heathers/characters in the show, the way she uses that stage to bring her portrayal of Heather McNamara forced me to single her out as simply the best performer on that stage.

The whole cast, however, do work really well together in creating easy-to-follow action, floating from different locations and scenes using a composite set. Other performers I would like to give sincere credit to include Jacob Fowler as JD, Jessica Innes as Veronica Sawyer, Morgan Jackson as Ram Sweeney, Conor McFarlane as Ram’s Dad and Jay Bryce as Kurt’s Dad. In all honesty, Conor McFarlane and Jay Bryce bring an overwhelmingly incredible act 2 opener with ‘My Dead Gay Son’. That is certainly the way to welcome the audience back after the interval, it was insane!

To conclude, it’s a cult classic with a very modern take on a very 80s story. It is unexpected and unpredictable with twists and turns around every corner, that will make your jaw drop. You go for the story, the dark comedy and the actual tense narrative, but stay for the performance of Billie Bowman as Heather McNamara, the crazy, but brilliant madness of Conor McFarlane and Jay Bryce and the overall quirkiness of simply everything.

This performance was reviewed on Saturday 20th May 2023 at the Alexandra theatre in Birmingham.

Heathers The Musical is on a National Tour, booking currently until 21st October 2023. For more details and tickets, please visit: Heathers the Musical - UK Tour

***** stars 

Harrison Horsley

Catch Harrison’s show, ‘In The Spotlight’, every Saturday between 2pm-4pm on Box Office Radio

Photo credit:Pamela Raith