Theatre Away Day: Heathers - The Musical, The Other Palace, London
Summer’s officially here and theatre-goers may want to travel further afield this summer to catch some of the latest theatre productions. One such show, The Really Useful Group’s presentation of Heathers – The Musical, based on the 1980s cult film captured the imagination of mother and daughter, Rachel and Seren Howells. The pair purchased their tickets back in April and caught the show, starring Carrie Hope-Fletcher at The Other Palace, London ahead of the shows transfer to Haymarket’s Theatre Royal in September
It was exciting to hear that after a sell-out workshop in 2017, the Musical, Heathers received its official London premiere at The Other Palace, London on June 9. For my daughter and I, with GCSEs and school commitments getting in the way, it was a long wait until July 22 for our day trip from South Wales to London to see the show.
Starring Carrie Hope Fletcher in the lead, Heathers is set at Westerberg High during the 1980s and centres around Veronica Sawyer, one of several nobodies dreaming for a better day. But when she’s unexpectedly taken under the wings of the three beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers, her dreams of popularity finally start to come true. Until JD turns up, the mysterious teen rebel who teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it’s murder being a somebody…
Arriving early to sample the special cocktails that had been created for the show we were very excited by the time the theatre doors opened. Although it’s a small theatre The Other Palace was packed for the performance as the show had sold out very quickly (We purchased our tickets some months ago). The atmosphere inside the auditorium built as the soundtrack of the 80s played before the show began. Highlights of these songs were Video Killed the Radio Star, The Look of Love, and Talking Japanese.
As the songs finished the auditorium fell silent as we waited for the show to begin. Heathers opens with the song Beautiful and the cast bounce onto the stage with a commanding energy that sets the tone for the show. Veronica introduces the audience to most of the cast, including the three Heathers who appear on the stage like models on a catwalk.
Hardly ever off-stage Carrie Hope Fletcher gives an outstanding performance from the opening lines of the show to the final curtain. Perfect for the role of Veronica, she epitomises the character through different aspects of the character’s journey.
Sneaking on stage after the song, Beautiful was J.D. played Jamie Muscato. Dressed all in black, you knew his character spelt trouble for Veronica from their initial meeting. Muscato makes the character his own and puts his own take on it giving an enjoyable performance.
The three Heathers played by Jodie Steele, T’Shan Williams and Sophie Isaacs excelled as the three mean Girls of Westerberg High. Jodie Steele strengths showed while she was playing Dead Heather popping up all over the place to speak to Veronica.
While Heathers features a small cast, it remains very strong. Several of the ensemble play multiple roles proving themselves to be flexible and excellent in every instance.
The set for Heathers works like a jigsaw with scene changes happening in seconds transforming the stage to a high school, several houses and shops as the story unfolds.
Congratulations to both the cast and crew of Heathers for their transfer to the West End. its fully deserved, and theatre-goers will have 12 weeks from September 3, 2018 to catch the show at the Theatre Royal Haymarket.
Main Picture: Jodie Steele (Heather Chandler), Carrie Hope Fletcher (Veronica Sawyer), T'Shan Williams (Heather Duke) and Sophie Isaacs (Heather McNamara) in Heathers The Musical at The Other Palce, London. Photo credit: Pamela Raith Photography