‘Welcome to my Candy Store!’ Heathers the Musical, Orchard Theatre, Dartford. 23.05.2023

I was so excited about this opening night, being that tonight’s production is one of my favourites! I was so happy that it would be coming to the Orchard Theatre and I would once again get to expeariance the musical that is Heathers!

Following huge success in the west end in 2018, Heathers continued to reign once again and still is at the Other Palace in 2022. It is now in its second tour, allowing the whole of Britain to experience the craziness that is this show! Based on the 1980s cult classic film of the same name, it tells the tale of Veronika Sawyer who manages to befriend the popular girls in school, ‘The Heathers’. She quickly realises that being under their wing isn’t what its cut up to be and in discovering stumbles across JD the new boy in town with a mysterious past. Falling for him, he starts to help her teach the Heathers a lesson – in doing so teaches Veronica one also. Now the West End had been rebooted following its off Broadway productions, complete with new songs and a few rewrites, I know, know different but it is amazing how a show that is based on an 80s film can still reflect on todays society. Everyone can relate to this story one way or another, especially during our school days.

Having not known anything about this musical when I first saw it, I fell in love with how fun and energetic this show is and it continues into the touring cast. Andy Fickman ensures his directing abilities is shown to its full potential within the show, making sure every message and emotion is displayed throughout. I fell in love with the soundtrack, from the master minds of Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe -who also wrote the songs for Legally Blonde, they have out done themselves with such a memorable soundtrack that without doubt you will be singing on leaving the venue. Personal favourites have to be ‘Fight for Me’ and ‘Seventeen.’ But the two newest additions to the soundtrack were ‘You’re Welcome’ replacing Kurt and Ram’s ‘Blue’ and ‘Never Shut Up Again’ which Heather Duke sings, this allows the cast to bring out a little bit more personality into their roles. It was great to see something fresh and new, that is unique for the UK production!

Heathers would not be Heathers with out, you guessed it The Heathers! Stepping into the Red, Yellow and Green are Verity Thompson, Billie Bowman and Elise Zavou who all excel within their roles. Billie has the sass but yet the innocent side of ditzy Heather McNamara, Elise had the attitude that was brought to life as soon as she donned her red scrunchy and Verity – well she was a ‘mythic bitch’ just as Heather Chandler should be, her rendition of ‘Candy Store’ was a highlight to the audience for sure that provided the one of loudest cheers of the night.

The leading duo Veronika Sawyer and J.D were played by Jenna Innes and understudy Tom Dickerson, Jenna has a beautiful voice that greatly suited each song she sung, in particular ‘Just Say No’ another new edition to the production and she made sure it was worth it. Along with amazing acting, and comical timing she is a fantastic Veronika. Her relationship with Tom was also greatly portrayed and it was clear the emotion and love that they had for each other. Tom has a warming tone to his voice, his personality also with the many character styles that is JD’s was excellently displayed – proving again the power of undestudies and how talented they are.

Every member of the cast had their role to play, creating each and every character that you would expect to see in a classic American High School show. I can’t leave this blog without mentioning Kinglsey Morton, whose ‘Kindergarten Boyfriend’ was beautifully sung but also seeing her in a complete opposite role to previous as Wednesday Addams, showing just how versatile she is. You just love watching each role on stage and laughing at all their interactions especially with the audience during ‘Shine’ performed Ms Fleming, Katie Paine – who knows how to work the crowd!

Even if you are die hard fan of this cult classic, or you know nothing about it – you will without a doubt love this show and will be standing up in your seats at the end cheering and clapping along wishing for more.

Playing at the orchard theatre until Saturday 27th May, for all ticket information go here. It then continues on its UK tour, for all dates and ticket information head to their website here.

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