Review: Heathers @ The Other Palace

Reviewed by Charlotte White

When I managed to get a must have ticket to Heathers I was extremely happy. Of course I had heard of this show but I didn’t know much about it at all, so I went in to it with a very open mind.

For anyone who is also unfamiliar with the plot of Heathers, it’s the story of Heather Chandler, Heather McNamara, Heather Duke and Veronica Sawyer. As a student of Westerburg high life is difficult for Veronica, but not for the Heathers. So Veronica decides to make a deal with the Heathers to become popular. This new friendship seems to be going well, that is until new kid on the block Jason ‘JD’ Dean gets involved and things start to unravel from there.

Directed by Andy Fickman, the hugely talented cast put on quite the show. Starting with the leading role of Veronica, Carrie Hope Fletcher gave a gripping performance. After seeing her in Les Miserables as Eponine, this character was quite different and allowed the audience to see a different side to her. Carrie’s voice was certainly strong enough for the role and her portrayal of the character was everything you’d want as a ‘newbie’ watching the show- enticing, emotional and humorous. I enjoyed the comedic side to her performance and it seems the rest of the audience did too. I felt a sense of pride as I watched her and that she too felt proud of the role, exuding body confidence and empowerment to all us young women out there.

The three iconic Heathers played by Jodie Steele (Heather Chandler), Sophie Isaacs (Heather McNamara) and T’shan Williams (Heather Duke) did not disappoint. Their vocals worked extremely well together and all three seemed to have a good connection on stage. I feel Jodie really came into her own in this role and the two solos by T’Shan and Sophie were both performed brilliantly. They all nailed the comedy but also the emotion of the piece as well.

I was utterly captivated by Jamie Muscato as Jason Dean. He gave such a compelling performance throughout the entirety of the show, but I loved how the character developed as it went on. He was convincing the whole way through and I thoroughly enjoyed his interpretation of the role.

Jenny O’Leary gave such a touching performance as Veronica’s best friend Martha Dunnstock and Rebecca Lock was fabulous as Ms Flemming! Dominic Andersen and Chris Chung played the rather comedic duo of Ram Sweeney and Kurt Kelly. They gave the show a lighter feel and had me laughing the whole way through.

As I was new to the show (unlike the several ‘Heather Chandlers’ in the audience who were clearly familiar with it), I had nothing to compare it to. Perhaps some hardcore fans may not agree with all the decisions made but I thoroughly enjoyed it. There is quite a hype surrounding the show so I think it is good to come in with an open mind as there is a new song and new staging. Also, there are some very adult/dark themes explored during the show so it may not be for everyone. Having said this, I think it is done in a tasteful and fairly lighthearted way.

Did I hear the people sing? The Other Palace is quite a small venue which helped, but the cast were excellent in their diction and clarity both during their songs and dialogue. The volume was a comfortable level and I had no trouble at all hearing what was going on.

In summary, Heathers is a sexy, twisted, seductive tale that will give you a rush which is likely to ‘Freeze Your Brain’. Combine this with a soundtrack you’re bound to be singing for days on end after you leave, it’s a winner in my opinion. Even if you’re a bit unsure, try and grab a ticket if one comes up. I myself was quite surprised I liked it so much, I guess you could colour me stoked.

5stars

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