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Tuesday, 30 November 2021

Review: Heathers The Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre

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Before I start, I have to get one thing off my chest. Is it me, or is it weird to see microphones stuck to the performers’ foreheads?

Anyway, the last time I felt this old at an event was at a Beyoncé gig at the O2.

Heathers: The Musical appears to attract a young audience, and judging by the screams and other noises, many of them have seen it again and again.

Not quite a Rocky Horror Show following, but I think it will get quite close..

Heathers: The Musical is a high-energy black comedy/rock musical based on the 1989 film of the same name. It opens up conversations about dark issues, including bullying, teen suicide, sexual assault, and school violence.

L-R Rebecca Wickes, Maddison Firth, Merryl Ansah & Lizzy Parker - Heathers UK Tour 2021 - Photos by Pamela Raith (13)
L-R Rebecca Wickes, Maddison Firth, Merryl Ansah & Lizzy Parker – Heathers UK Tour 2021 – Photos by Pamela Raith (13)

The main character is of Veronica Sawyer, a senior at Westerberg High. She longs to be cool like the it-girls that run school life.

These are the Heathers; Heather Chandler, the leader with her sidekicks, Heather Duke and Heather McNamara. Who, as you’d expect, bully the school kids into submission.

Veronica uses her skills as a forger to get into this exclusive club. But this means bullying her best friend, Martha Dunnstock.

Veronica’s attraction to new boy Jason Dean (JD) leads to accidental death and murder as the duo works to rid the high school of its cruel elite forever.

All the main characters were perfectly cast, and they all put in a great performance.

Rebecca Wickes as Veronica, had an infectious laugh, which was used in the same way as Barbara Windsor’s laugh in the Carry On films.

Heather Chandler was played by Maddison Firth. I really didn’t like Chandler as Maddison made this bully seem so real. But when she became a ghost I warmed to the character and it was a lot of fun.

Dunnstock (played by Mhaira Angus) reversing her mobility scooter was just a joy to watch.

I knew nothing about the show before the curtain came up, so Veronica’s fake suicide by hanging was a bit of a shock. I guess I’m too used to those warnings given before TV shows nowadays, but at least I’ve forewarned you…

As the show talks about bullying, teen suicide, sexual assault, and school violence, I wish it had been rewritten to be set in a UK school and not one in the USA.

I think this would have helped more with this messaging by making it more relevant. As it is, it made these very serious issues appear remote and perhaps you might feel they only happen ‘over there’.

During the show there was the line, ‘teenagers are all the same’ and apart from the killing that occurs in this show, that is true.

I could put faces from my school on all the characters and I’m sure you could too.

It’s definitely worth a watch.

 

Heathers: The Musical is running at Milton Keynes Theatre until Saturday 20 November

Tickets: From £13*

Online Booking: ATGTICKETS.COM/MiltonKeynes*

*Fees may apply.

 

John Guinn attended the show as a guest of Milton Keynes Theatre.

 

Heathers The Musical - UK Tour 2021 - Photos by Pamela Raith (1)
Heathers The Musical – UK Tour 2021 – Photos by Pamela Raith (1)

 

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John Guinn
I am the editor of The Flitwick Chronicle. This is an independent, local news service based in Bedfordshire. The Chronicle provides local news that is investigative, inclusive and relevant to the residents of Flitwick.

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