Thursday, February 29

Heathers the Musical – Regent Theatre, Stoke

Heathers the musical based on the cult classic film of the same name has hit Stoke-on-Trent. The show which has played packed out audiences in London is now touring the UK. The Regent Theatre is an extremely accommodating theatre for this even handing out iconic scrunchies to those of us lucky enough to review.

The audience was packed out with a variety of ages, but a huge margin of the audience went to teens. It was so lovely to watch to see that shows like Heathers are keeping the audience engaged in the theatre. There were murmurs before the show of people excited to see the cult film brought to life.

What can I say, brought to life it was. The show was mesmerising you couldn’t take your eye off any of the action taking place on the stage. Everywhere you looked the ensemble was bringing such presence to their characters. Although, the characters are meant to be stereotypes of teens you’d see in the 80s everyone brought such a human approach.

Jenna Innes was the perfect casting for Veronica. Her ‘I Say No’ was showstopping. The strength she had in the show was a sight to behold. It is worth the price of the ticket just to hear her belt ‘I Say No.’ Absolute first-class performance. The kind of leading lady worthy of a west end stage.

Jacob Fowler as JD had the most stunning vocals. But points of his performance were as chilling as the Slurpee JD loves so much. He was the most captivating villain you couldn’t help but route for him at points. He brought such light to a dark character. His mannerisms throughout were exceptional. Such a layered performance.

Verity Thompson as Heather Chandler was unbelievable. Her characterisation throughout was unmatched. She kept a very ‘mythic’ air about her. The stance and strength she held on that stage were remarkable.

The other two heathers (Elise Zavou and Billie Bowman) came across spectacularly. Bowman held such an innocent with Macnamara which was heart breaking to watch whereas Zavou gave a much more stern performance the two balanced each other well. The chemistry between the three Heathers was brilliant.

Kingsley Moore as Martha was one of my favourite performances in the show and possibly one that I’ve seen this year. She had such an adorable grace surrounding her. ‘Kindergarten Boyfriend’ was heart breaking. You could have heard a pin drop in the audience as the silence fell.

Katie Paine brought some much-needed comic relief as Miss Fleming.

As did Alex Woodward and Morgan Jackson the pair together was extremely well cast as Ram and Kurt.

The staging for the show was incredibly clever using the levels showed real power shifts throughout which I loved. The use of the colour green to symbolise evil throughout the show was also extremely clever. Although my personal favourite staging point was the pure white light that shone on anybody when they were having an innocent or pure moment it shone a real light on the good in the characters at certain points.

Some of the themes of the show won’t be to everyone’s taste however the theatre was brilliant with this and signs to tell you about the dark themes were scattered everywhere.

Overall, the show is an absolute marvel. A remarkable piece of theatre which presents some of the darkest points of life in a way that some find comedic, and others find disturbing. I’ve already booked again for the weekend!

Playing until 15th April, https://www.atgtickets.com/venues/regent-theatre/

How very, wonderful indeed!

Reviewer: Leanne Rushton

Reviewed: 11th April 2023

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★★

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