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Heathers the Musical - Review

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by Kiesten McCauley (subscribe)
My early career was in teaching, writing, producing and directing for theatre, comedy and impro shows. Now I'm a professional creative person. Mostly high-end branding, strategy, writing, editing and digital content creation.
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Deliciously dark comedy gets the musical treatment
heathers, musical, redcliffe, theatre, moreton, bay, music, dance, acting, show
Image courtesy of Dreamcoat Photography

Heathers the Musical is playing now at Redcliffe Musical Theatre's venue Theatre 102. Fans of musical theatre and/or black comedies are sure to enjoy this production.

Those old enough to remember 1989 may be familiar with the delightfully dark tale of Heathers. It was a Winona Ryder and Christian Slater film that dealt with all the deepest teen issues facing pre-internet kids: sex, drugs, parties, peer pressure, fashion, cliques and gun violence in schools. The script by Daniel Waters is packed full of quotable quotes and fabulously quirky and recognisable characters that are thankfully still very present in the musical adaptation.

While the musical is definitely a little lighter than the film, it still packs a punch today. Audiences will find themes that resonate with modern teens and are sure to still get a great laugh out of many of the funny one-liners.

heathers, musical, redcliffe, theatre, music, dance, acting, show
Image courtesy of Dreamcoat Photography

It's the tale of Veronica Sawyer, a clever misfit who somehow finds herself as part of the 'pretty girl' clique the Heathers. The audience empathises with her as she navigates all of the power playing, school societal rules and machinations that go along with being at the top of the pecking order. When Veronica falls for the new bad boy in town, her life (and the lives of her schoolmates) takes a deadly turn.

As I'm a great admirer of the original movie, it was a pleasure to see Redcliffe Musical Theatre tackle the production with such gusto. Casting was on point, especially Kurt (Zachary Crisan) and Ram (Jai Jackson). Micheal Hornery was very likeable as Veronica Sawyer and she did a great job with the comedy and singing. Matthew Bapty as JD suited his role well and he handled much of the psychotic nuances required to sell the part. It would have been nice to see a bit more chemistry between the leads, as it was a little hard to believe they had an intense love or even lust for each other.

heathers, musical, redcliffe, theatre, music, dance, acting, show
Image courtesy of Dreamcoat Photography

The entire cast did a great job with the choreography by Kara Fisher and when singing together, they sounded amazing. A couple of cast members hit a flat or sharp note here and there, but on the whole, the singing was really enjoyable. Many of the songs had hilarious lyrics too so it's worth paying attention to them. The show also boasted an excellent live band backstage, which just added to the brilliant wall of sound.

Costuming was perfect, with amazing attention to detail shown. The show was of such a professional standard, which can be attributed to direction by Angela Witcher, it had me longing to see the production in a larger venue. All of the cast did a good job with their acting and characterisation was adept even among the ensemble players. It was clear everyone was well rehearsed. Stand-out performances were delivered by Ashley Prosser, Georgia Murray and Maddi Hutchins (the Heathers) and Gary Farmer-Trickett (and Ram's Dad / Principal / Veronica's Dad).

Heathers the Musical comes highly recommended as a fun date night or group outing. It's playing weekends until June 3rd, but if the show we attended is any indication you might want to book now to avoid missing out. It's not recommended for people under 15 as there are some pretty adult themes and jokes in the show.

heathers, musical, redcliffe, theatre, music, dance, acting, show
Image courtesy of Dreamcoat Photography

We found a street park very easily so driving there shouldn't be a problem.

Take some cash for the bar, programs and raffle tickets. We didn't have any cash (only cards) so we missed out on those little pleasures.

The sound is pretty loud, so if you're worried about your ears, wear earplugs as you would at a live rock show. There's a live band and microphones amplifying singers to be heard over the band, so it's not a quiet little night out.

There's a lot to enjoy about Heathers the Musical so go along ready to laugh and clap a lot. Take your dark sense of humour and your toe tapping shoes and you're sure to have a ball.
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Why? Hang with the Popular Kids
When: Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays until June 6
Where: Redcliffe Musical Theatre, Theatre 102
Cost: ADULTS $30.00 CONCESSION $25.00
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