King's Theatre, Glasgow
27 June 2023
Following two smash hit London seasons and the WhatsOnStage award for BEST NEW MUSICAL, Heathers the Musical UK Tour has arrived in Glasgow for the first time ever this week.
Based on the 1988 cult film starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, Heathers the musical is a colourful, funny, dark but dazzling glimpse into American high school life.
At Westerberg High, Veronica Sawyer (Jenna Innes) is just another nobody dreaming of a better day. But when she joins the beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers, her dreams of popularity may finally come true. Then mysterious teen rebel JD (Jacob Fowler) arrives on scene and things take a turn to the dark side...
I had seen Heathers previously, in Edinburgh December 2021, and I was shocked at how good it was and how much I enjoyed it. I knew it had a cult following in London but I was still surprised. It's wickedly funny, gorgeous to look at, the book is enthralling and the songs are banging! This new touring production is somehow even better.
From producers Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor-Mills, directed by Andy Fickman and choreographed by Gary Lloyd - it's tight, slick, perfectly presented and performed - I can't fault it at all. My heart was racing all night and I had goosebumps at the end.
Every scene and every choreographed step is stunning and serves a purpose. Nothing drags or seems superfluous. The plot moves along at pace, the two acts are carefully balanced and the characters are clear and well defined. The band are brilliant and the cast are outstanding. Wow! It all comes together to make musical theatre magic.
Front and centre in the lead role of Veronica Sawyer, Jenna Innes gave a powerhouse performance as the underdog who joins the untouchable Heathers. Playing to a home crowd, the first tour Scottish Veronica Sawyer brought the house down and I was in tears of pride at both her performance and at the reception she received. (Neither are anything to do with me of course - I just got swept up in the emotion of it all.)
Veronica's strange and secretive love interest, JD is wonderfully played by Since September star Jacob Fowler. The pair have a lovely and obvious chemistry on stage. I want to be in their gang!
The Heathers themselves are as glorious as you would expect. With spectacular costumes and striking choreography, their entrance and soon after, their show-stopping number 'Candy Store' is one of my favourite moments in any musical. Iconic.
Mythic bitch, Queen Heather, The Almighty Heather Chandler is played by newcomer Verity Thompson. I was honestly shocked to read that Verity graduated in 2022. Ok she graduated from Mountview, and is therefore obviously amazing, but she plays Heather C with so much confidence and with perfect diction, with immaculate presentation and flawless delivery - it's glorious! I squealed with delight (inside my head - I am not an annoying audience member!) every time she was on stage.
The Heathers, the parents, the teachers, Martha and indeed the whole ensemble cast are great, and most of them play multiple roles. They all work together to deliver an impeccable show and it is honestly a joy to watch. I know it isn't, but they make it look easy! - and that allows the audience to relax and fully enjoy themselves. We are in safe hands!
I must give a special shutout to the boys - The Jocks we love to hate - Kurt and Ram. Expertly played here by Alex Woodward and Morgan Jackson, both have brilliant comic timing and they do a fab job of bringing the delightfully dumb and odious creatures to life. We didn't have jocks at my school in Scotland, but this is exactly how I imagine them to be. Hilarious.
I've already mentioned 'Candy Store', but Heathers soundtrack is full of truly excellent and varied songs. They are all good, and they all fit perfectly into the narrative and ambience of the show. Right from the start with 'Beautiful' the music is engaging and never dull. If I had to pick a favourite, I'd go with 'Dead Girl Walking' - I have played that song on repeat so many times and I will never tire of it - but 'Never shut up again', Our love is God', 'Seventeen' - no, it's no good, I can't. I like all of the songs. What a soundtrack!
I cannot recommend this production of Heathers enough. I never say this - because I know how expensive and how much of a privilege being able to buy theatre tickets can be - but I'm saying it now: Go! Spend your money, buy the tickets. This show and this cast are absolutely worth your hard-earned coins.
Ticket links and more info on age discretion and trigger warnings below.
⚠️ Please be advised this is not a child-friendly production! There is a lot of strong language and adult themes throughout. Warnings include: haze, loud noises including gunshots, flashing lights and strobe, strong language and mature themes including murder, suicide, sexual violence and references to eating disorders. Audience discretion is advised.
Age recommendation 14+
🎟️ Disclosure: I was invited to this show by ATG Glasgow but I had already purchased my tickets some time ago and so I did not accept the comps. I do however work with ATG Glasgow to review and promote their shows. Whether I am invited or not has absolutely no impact on my reviews or star ratings.
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📸 Production Photos: Pamela Raith Photography
💙💛❤️💚 A review of Heathers UK Tour at The King's Theatre, Glasgow, June 2023 - Musical Theatre, Bill Kenwright Productions, Jenna Innes, Jacob Fowler🖤
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