So in a wonderful twist of fate, I was fortunate enough to be able to watch the dress rehearsal of Heathers the Musical at The Other Palace….I know right?! Mad!
I’m beyond pleased that my first “Rosy Roundup” is of this wonderful production. It’s a show that means a huge deal to me, as I know it does to many people. It’s got such a loyal fan base and I have to applaud the marketing team for Heathers and The Other Palace for embracing the incredible community of Heathers fans around the globe in the lead up to this production. From their “Big Fun Fridays” on Twitter, to ensuring a huge amount of lower-priced tickets were available for audiences, it’s safe to say Heathers has made its mark on London. There are so many elements of the show I’ve barely even touched on and this is by no means all of my thoughts but I wanted to write something that was genuine and fresh so here goes…
I was lucky enough to catch the workshop of Heathers last year at The Other Palace and was THRILLED to see the return of several cast members. One of these was the amazing Jamie Muscato, playing J.D. I could genuinely write a whole blog post on Jamie’s performance. He’s such an incredibly skilled performer and I am so pleased he is reprising this role. He portrays J.D in such a subtle and distinct way, with just the right amount of psychopath (!) I think with a character like J.D it could be tempting for an actor to go down the really crazy route, but the impressive thing about Jamie’s performance is that he manages to make J.D so likeable as well – so, just like Veronica, the audience want so badly to root for him despite the horrendous things he does. For me, good acting is so much to do with the eyes and, without trying to sound cheesy, his are just magnetic and his stage presence is incredible. I will stop gushing now haha but it was just such a standout performance that I think deserves so much recognition.
Of course, Carrie Hope Fletcher was a joy to watch. Probably one of the most iconic moments in the show is right at the start where Veronica runs out onto the stage for the end of “Beautiful” after her infamous makeover from the Heathers. There’s something about the orchestrations of this song that just makes it so moving , and Carrie absolutely nailed it. I can only imagine how daunting it must have been to step into a role that is so engrained in the minds of Heathers fans but Carrie has truly made the role her own and brings a fresh new take on Veronica. She showcases her diverse vocal talents in what is a HUGE sing, and is able to present Veronica as the complex character she is because of this.
I’m not gonna lie – I definitely sobbed a bit throughout “Seventeen” and “Our Love Is God“. I think “Seventeen” in particular is SUCH a gorgeous song and it just gets me in the gut. In all of Veronica and J.D’s duets in fact, it’s just like time stops and for a second you forget about all the craziness that has happened in the plot and just see two lost teenagers who have fallen deeply for each other. Great, right?
Some of my other favourite moments included “The Me Inside of Me” and especially Jodie Steele‘s hilarious ending to this number. (*Side note* – kind of in love with Heather Chandler’s dressing gown too; Jodie rocks it.) I also LOVED the new song for Heather Duke, sung (/slayed) by T’Shan Williams. I don’t want to ruin anything but there’s a moment in this song…guys…you’re gonna love it. I’m so on board with this new number and felt it really gave another layer to Heather Duke’s character which only added to the story. Sophie Isaacs, playing Heather McNamara, also displays some of the best comedic timing I’ve seen and is one of the other cast members who I’m so thrilled is reprising their role from the workshop last year.
Another standout performance was “Shine A Light“, led masterfully by Rebecca Lock as Ms Fleming. This is such a great number with some amazing choreography and use of props (like super shiny fun props – trust me). Especially in The Other Palace which is such an intimate space, the engagement of the audience is so key and this was done SO well in this number. Rebecca’s vocals are MAD. Get ready for all of the riffs – you’re gonna love it.
I’m so glad that Heathers exists. It’s such an important piece of theatre and one that truly holds up a mirror to us as human beings. We have the capability of being truly awful to each other, but we also have the capability of being kind, accepting and loving. Heathers highlights the fact that we’re all damaged; all of us. There’s no way to get rid of pain in the world, but that doesn’t mean it is not a world worth living in – and by sticking together, it truly can be made beautiful.
It fills me with so much joy that everything I witnessed will only grow and blossom as the run goes on and I feel so privileged to have gotten the opportunity to see it before the first preview. It’s certainly an experience I won’t be forgetting in a hurry. The fact that this was their first proper run through and it was already at the standard it was is, like….mind-baffling. I doubt many dress rehearsals get standing ovations?!
To all those involved in Heathers; the cast, crew, creative team – thank you. Whilst I have given it a go, I really can’t put into words what this show means to me and I’m just so happy that the production is everything I hoped it would be and more.
* I know that there are very few tickets left so please (PLEASE) if you’re considering booking at all, do it – you won’t regret it. There’s also a lottery you can enter on The Other Palace’s website (https://www.theotherpalace.co.uk/whats-on/heathers-the-musical) every Friday for the chance to get £25 tickets! How very! *
I hope you enjoyed the first of many Rosy Roundups!
You can stay up to date with all the latest Heathers news by following their Twitter account which is @HeathersMusical ✨
Olivia Rose 🌹