Heathers The Musical: A Triumph at New Wimbledon Theatre review ★★★★★

In 2017, Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy’s award-winning masterpiece, Heathers The Musical, embarked on its London journey with a workshop at The Other Palace, ultimately leading to its full production debut in 2018. This darkly comedic musical became an instant sensation, earning the title of Best New Musical. It rapidly made its way to the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2018 and embarked on a UK tour in 2021. The show’s resounding success led to a return to the Theatre Royal Haymarket in the same year. After a triumphant second West End run, it was announced that the musical would return to its roots, gracing The Other Palace’s stage from November 2021 to September of this year. Testament to its enduring popularity among devoted fans, the show embarked on another tour this year, commencing in February and now arriving at New Wimbledon Theatre. This latest run continues to captivate audiences with the enthralling tale of Veronica, her teenage turmoil, and the notorious Heathers.

A Cult Classic: Heathers The Musical’s Roots

Heathers The Musical draws its inspiration from the 1989 film of the same name, featuring the talents of Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. The film has etched itself into pop culture as one of the most iconic cult teen films. The musical centers around Veronica Sawyer, a student at Westerberg High who views herself as an inconspicuous nobody, yearning for a brighter future. Her life takes an unexpected turn when she becomes entangled with the beautiful yet cruel Heathers, a popular clique at her school. However, the arrival of the enigmatic teen rebel, JD, changes everything, teaching Veronica that while being a nobody might hurt, being a somebody can lead to murder!

The Irresistible Allure of Heathers

Heathers The Musical exudes an irresistible charm that draws the audience into its world of music, drama, and unforgettable one-liners. The cast of this production does a phenomenal job of bringing this beloved show to life. In their roles as jocks Kurt and Ram, Alex Woomward and Morgan Jackson expertly embody toxic masculinity, delivering performances that are cringe-worthy yet perfect in their execution. Katie Paine’s portrayal of Ms. Fleming strikes the ideal balance between unhinged and hilariously funny. Paine’s decision to select her “Steve” for the evening and her ad-libbing in the process create a memorable, laugh-inducing moment.

Verity Thompson, Elise Zavoc, and Billie Bowman portray the Heathers, and they are the epitome of the “mythic bitches” as described in the show. Thompson’s Heather Chandler stands out with her robust vocal prowess and impeccable comic timing. Elise Zavoc offers a dynamic performance as Heather Duke, portraying the character with a touch of madness and a powerful rendition of “Never Shut Up Again” that resonates with the audience. Billie Bowman’s Heather McNamara infuses heart into the Heathers clique. She delivers her lines with exquisite comic timing and offers a moving performance, with her rendition of “Lifeboat” serving as an emotional highlight of the evening.

Kingsley Morton’s portrayal of Martha Dunstock is nothing short of fantastic, with her rendition of “Kindergarten Boyfriend” stopping the show in its tracks midway through Act Two. Jenna Innes, in the role of Dead Girl Walking, astounds with her remarkable vocal prowess as Veronica. Her performance is solidified with a breathtaking vocal riff at the end of “Beautiful,” leaving the audience assured that they are in capable hands. Leading a show is no easy feat, but Innes takes command of the stage, delivering an impactful and uniquely distinctive performance.

Jacob Fowler, as JD, is simply stunning. His exceptional vocal performance is complemented by a portrayal of JD that is utterly distinctive, leaving no doubt in the audience’s mind about his character’s dangerous nature. Fowler infuses his JD with a malevolence that has not been seen since the show’s initial run, and his duets with Innes’ Veronica are disturbingly beautiful, as they should be. It’s a bravo-worthy performance that leaves a lasting impression.

The Enduring Appeal of Heathers The Musical

Although Heathers The Musical could be considered somewhat outdated, it continues to hold a special place in the hearts of its fans. The recent release of the live film has revitalized its fanbase, and the audience eagerly participates, cheering along with every one-liner, knowing when to respond, and savoring every minute of the performance. Therefore, do not miss your chance to join in the “Big Fun” and catch Heathers The Musical during its last scheduled stop at the New Wimbledon Theatre.

In conclusion, Heathers The Musical is a timeless masterpiece that has transitioned seamlessly from its origins in film to the vibrant world of musical theater. The show’s resounding success, both in the West End and on tour, is a testament to its enduring appeal and ability to resonate with audiences. The remarkable cast, led by Jenna Innes and Jacob Fowler, delivers unforgettable performances that breathe new life into the beloved characters of Veronica and JD. As the show continues to captivate audiences worldwide, it remains a must-see for fans of the film and newcomers alike. Don’t miss your chance to experience the unforgettable music, drama, and humor of Heathers The Musical at the New Wimbledon Theatre.

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Stevie Flavio
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