REVIEW ROUND-UP: Heathers the Musical at Theatre Royal Haymarket

In Features, London theatre, Musicals, Native, Opinion, Quotes, Reviews, Ticket recommendations by Emma ClarendonLeave a Comment

Following an immensely popular run at The Other Palace, the musical based on the 1980s film has transferred to the Theatre Royal Haymarket. Here is what critics have said about it… 

The Telegraph★★★★ “The show displays the kind of fastidious attention to detail the Heathers apply to their colour co-ordinated uniforms. The choreography may not be A* yet it brings hip-swivelling, pelvic-thrusting dynamism to the rampant hormonal intensity. And crucially, in Fletcher and Muscato, Andy Fickman’s production boasts leads with as much chemistry as the Hollywood originals.”

Trendfem.com: ★★★★ “Since the Off-West End UK premiere Carrie Hope Fletcher has made the role her own. Singing with unstinting power and acting with depth and sensitivity she manages to make one forget Ryder’s extraordinary performance. She also has a nice line in side-eye comedy appropriate to the role’s semi-narrative function.”

The Stage: ★★★★ “There’s uncomfortable stuff here: suicide, bullying, murder, misery. But the songs aren’t sugarcoating these things; they intensify them and satirise the glamorising, patronising cultures that surround them.”

LondonTheatreReviews: ★★★ “The dark story becomes weird – what is fun about teenager killing each other and getting away with it? – and I really struggled to understand the clumsy script, Veronica’s choices and where the whole story was going.”

LondonTheatre.co.uk: ★★★★ “What is slightly jarring about Heathers is Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy’s book and score almost making light of these issues. Their upbeat, belting score is terrific and full of earworms, but the book also plays for laughs. Heather Duke is sick to keep herself thin, but it’s funny. The fact that the linebacker and quarterback of the football team being lovers, to the point they take their own lives, is funny. Blips like this make what is otherwise a terrifically fun musical feel dated and uncomfortable for a 2018 audience.”

Rewrite This Story: ★★★★ “Most of the subject matter of this show is uncomfortable but sadly ever-present: bullying, suicide, murder, depression. Heathers does a good job of satirising the sensationalism of them and shines a light (pun intended) on the fact that unity and kindness are always the way forward.”

Exeunt Magazine: “The musical’s use of nooses and pills for cheap visual gags was particularly unwelcome. But more than that, the show reinforces the depressed person’s most dangerous delusion: that the world would be better off without them in it, and that they’d find a kind of adulation after death that they could never find while alive.”

The Times: ★★ “The musical is not as good as the film but then, when you add lots of cheesiness to a storyline about teen cliques, murder and suicide you are on to a loser.”

Culture Whisper: ★★★★ “And here’s where the stage show of Heathers feels especially refreshing. Thirty years since the film as teenage mental illness and suicide continue to dominate headlines and inspire controversial stories such as Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, Heathers is still shrewd on the social context around such suffering.”

Broadway World: ★★★★ “Jamie Muscato absolutely steals the show with a spot-on portrayal of damaged teen, new-kid-on-the-block Jason ‘J.D.’ Dean. He sucks you in with an intense stare, coupled with a darkly mischievous grin that fills you with a mixture of excitement and unease.”

Stage Review: ★★★★★ “A fabulous musical with Carrie Hope Fletcher giving a stand-out turn as Veronica and Muscato winning hearts with his dark and broody JD.”

British Theatre Guide: “Heathers is hardly an intellectual feast but it is packed with catchy music, lively choreography, humour of varying quality and an underlying feminist message that will please contemporary audiences.”

The Spy in the Stalls: ★★★★ “It would be hard to describe the show as cutting edge. If pop culture really is trapped in an endless cycle of regurgitated images, Heathers The Musical won’t be the antidote. But if we are condemned to forever relive our past, it may as well be done like this, with a great big song and dance.”

The Upcoming: ★★★★★ “Heathers The Musical is a fabulous success. A hilarious dark comedy that has the courage to tackle deep and unnerving questions, it thrives in almost all aspects. Timeless and dazzling, this show is here to stay.”

Musical Theatre Review: ★★★★ “The result is a show which, while remaining faithful to the dark plot and nihilistic spirit of the original, also manages to find a level of optimism that Daniel Waters’ screenplay omitted.”

West End Wilma: ★★★★ “Audiences can expect a fun night out at the theatre, a witty script with catchy songs tackling some dark issues. Come to the Candy Store and Freeze Your Brain, Heathers The Musical is Beautiful.”

Upper Circle: ★★★★ “While Heathers may not be the finest American export, it’s a great production, bursting at the seams with talent. If you like your musical theatre unapologetically stagey and incredibly sinister, then it is well worth a watch.”

The Guardian: ★★★ “A show should not be hamstrung by its origins; the only thing that matters is whether it works on its own terms, and the answer here is: kind of. Heathers surprisingly, and thankfully, plays down the 80s setting, opting for a more universal sense of teenage life, with all its bullying and neuroses.”

Jonathan Baz Reviews: ★★★ “While there is a realism in the show’s portrayal of teenage desperation for popularity, there are moments when it all feels deeply unsettling. The narrative brushes with sensitive topics including teenage suicide, sexual assault and high school killings that sit awkwardly when contrasted with the real-life tragedy of such events.”

Carn’s Theatre Passion: ★★★★ “Carrie Hope Fletcher once again shows us why she is at the top of her profession. Both her vocals and acting are outstanding.”

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Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.
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Emma Clarendon on FacebookEmma Clarendon on InstagramEmma Clarendon on Twitter
Emma Clarendon
Emma Clarendon studied drama through A-Level before deciding she was much better suited to writing about theatre than appearing onstage. She’s written for a number of online publications ever since, including The News Hub and Art Info. Emma set up her own blog, Love London Love Culture, in April 2015 and tweets at LoveLDNLoveCul.