Wednesday, July 6

Heathers the Musical – Empire Theatre

How very anticipated. You could feel the excitement and anticipation in the air upon arrival at the theatre. Whilst it was a week later than planned, you could tell for the majority of the audience, it was their first return to the theatre since they were shut last year and boy where they excited to see this cult classic on stage.

You couldn’t tell that the cast had been off unexpectedly the week before, the energy and joy of them being back on stage was met with the reactions from the audience. It was difficult to tell who was more excited to be there, the cast or the audience.

The show, based on the film of the same name, is a dark comedy about how a ‘nobody’ Veronica Sawyer becomes friends with the popular girls at school, who are coincidentally all named Heather (Chandler, Duke and McNamara). At the same time, she falls in love with the guy at school, Jason ‘J.D.’ Dean, who seems to have a murderous streak.

West End cast

It was very well cast, with each member being well suited to the role they were portraying especially Rebecca Wickes as Veronica Sawyer, Simon Gordon as J.D. and Maddison Firth as Heather Chandler. Their comedic timing was perfect for the dark humour throughout the piece and there were moments when they had to wait for the audience reaction to die down, in order to make sure the next lines hit in the way they were meant to. Another honourable mention has to go to Andy Brady and Kurt Kansley who’s showstopping number ‘My Dead Gay Son’ at the start of Act 2 brought the house down. They were loud and proud, and the Liverpool audience were living for each moment.

It was also a joy to be able to hear a live orchestra playing the score, however there were moments when the orchestra appeared to be louder than the singing and some of the lyrics were drowned out at times.

The choreography from Gary Lloyd was slick and clever and when joined with direction from Andy Fickman made the production really cohesive and a joy to watch. It was definitely a mix of the show and being sat back in a fuller theatre that meant there was a smile behind the mask for the duration of the performance.

It was an electric night, with an electric cast and we were delivered such a treat. It is not hard to see why this show has become a bit of a cult classic, the soundtrack, book and cast all came together to create a truly momentous return to the theatre.

Heathers continues at the Liverpool Empire until the 28th August before continuing on tour.

Reviewer: Jenn McKean

Reviewed: 23rd August 2021

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★