LondonMusicalReview

Heathers: The Musical – The Other Palace, London

Reviewer: Christine Stanton

Book, Music and Lyrics: Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe

Director: Andy Fickman

Heathers finds a new home in The Other Palace, so, chuck on your leg-warmers, style that mullet and get schooled with this musical masterpiece at Westerberg High.

Veronica is unseen, unknown and understated. Paling in the background of the popular kids at school she just wants to make an impression and spend at least some of her high school experience enjoying herself. Popular group The Heathers rule the school, so when they find out Veronica can forge handwriting it finally puts her on the path to popularity. But their friendship comes at a cost. Caught between the school mean girls and the mysterious new guy, J.D., Veronica realises that although she’d kill to be popular, being one of the elites isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

Considering the dark subject matter of murder and teenage suicide, Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe have still created a star-spangled show filled with high-school hilarity. The music and lyrics are witty, catchy and full of fun – even if it is about a dead, gay son or a 7-11 slurpee that will freeze your brain. The punchy, upbeat songs match the cast’s high energy and keep the atmosphere buzzing throughout. It’s an ingenious show that many would have found hard to turn into a musical – but they do it with flair.

The cast are an American dream, and much like the main characters, absolutely kill on stage. They all embrace their clichéd high-school personas with enthusiasm and do an amazing job of bringing the personalities to life. From the brooding, poetic J.D (Freddie King), Queen-bee bully, Heather Chandler (Emma Kingston) and free-spirited hippy teacher (Vicki Lee Taylor), they combine together with jazzy choreography and spirited solo songs to produce a perfect re-imagined version of the 80’s cult classic movie.

The Jocks – Ram (Tom Scanlon) and Kurt (George Maddison) are fantastic – the epitome of stereotypical asshole athletes. The slow-motion fight scene is choreographed to perfection and gets the huge belly laughs from the audience that it deserves. Their comedic timing is flawless and are a duo to be reckoned with! Alisa Davidson, playing main character Veronica, truly suits being the star of the show. Her vocals are incredible and the way she plays out her rags to riches style teenage triumph story-arc is both endearing and entertaining.

The design by David Shields is simple yet impressive, each set is transformed quickly and seamlessly with each scene, transitioning from classrooms to cow fields in a matter of seconds. This, matched with the brightly coloured costumes and 1980’s fashion, makes it engaging throughout for the audience. This is an 80’s throwback at its best

Runs until 20 February 2022

The Reviews Hub Score

High-School Hilarity

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The Reviews Hub London is under the acting editorship of Richard Maguire. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.

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