‘This musical about teenage girls is still popular’- Heathers the Musical Review

‘This musical about teenage girls is still popular’- Heathers the Musical Review

Set in 1989, it is the story of a colour-coded trio of elite girls (all called Heather) in an American high school who rule the roost like bad-tempered temptresses and the newcomer who joins them.

This is the musical version of a film that is one part social satire/one part horror movie. Faced with potential bullying and sexual abuse from testosterone-fulled jocks (Cristian Zaccarini & Seb Harwood as Abbott & Costello on steroids), Veronica Sawyer (Miracle Chance) throws in her lot with the female power trio.

The arrival of moody bad boy JD (George Renshaw), who wears a Matrix-style coat and has access to his father’s firearms, disrupts the fragile status quo. Stuffed with issues from bullying to bulimia, teen suicide to murder, Heathers is a belter of a musical.

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It is performed with snarling humour and the zing of a dance musical untroubled by political correctness; the insults tossed around by the students would get them exclusion orders today.

The target audience identifies with the timeless issues as many of them will have suffered and fantasized about the same things – peer group pressure, social hierarchy, injustice, homophobia, sexual abuse, guilt and retribution.

Kevin Murphy and Lawrence O’Keefe’s mischievous songs fit the action beautifully – I Loved My Dead Gay Son is funny and sick,Seventeen is a hymn to adolescent confusion and Shine a Light is a gloriously illuminated showstopper.

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It treats the audience with respect, too; references to Baudelaire and Sylvia Plath jostle alongside expostulations such as “Well, f*** me gently with a chainsaw”.

Like a modern Jacobean tragedy, its humour is seditious – all the poisoning, shooting, explosions and pesky ghosts cannot stop the laughter.

The Americanised stridency of the delivery may lack subtlety but it is energised to the max, uninhibited and utterly shameless. Bad girls just got badder.

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