Dead Girl Walking: Heathers Musical Review

Is anyone else absolutely ready for Autumn? Spooky season is here for good now with the autumn equinox happening just yesterday, and what an amazing Autumn/Winter line-up we have at The Belgrade Theatre this year! One of which is the EXCEPTIONALLY funny Heathers…

The Belgrade invited me to this darkly funny and spectacular musical, based on the cult classic film of the same name. The story follows Veronica Sawyer (Jenna Innes), a popular but disillusioned high school student who just wants to be liked, loved and understood… until she meets the new kid at school who not only notices her but actually seems to like her… and then things get a little wild.

Credit: Pamela Wraith

This show is so well known for its sharp wit, iconic costumes, angst, brutality and incredibly catchy songs that it’s even been featured as special episode in other popular high school dramas (like Riverdale). With iconic songs such as “Freeze Your Brain”, “Dead Girl Walking” and “My Dead Gay Son”, those who can appreciate dark humour in theatre (like Rocky Horror) will find Heathers a truly unique and unforgettable experience on par with other musicals of its kind.

Tom Dickerson who played Jason ‘JD’ Dean covering for Jacob Fowler that night, was super talented and played his role excellently – just the right balance of cute and creepy. I’ve been in Veronica’s shoes (not noticing glaring red flags in boyfriends) so it was laugh-out-loud funny, awkward and super relatable. I’ve had “Seventeen” stuck in my head ever since, which was performed with such a raw desperation for normality and nostalgia that it actually made me cry a little!

Credit: Pamela Wraith

This musical encompasses the empty, symbolic voyeurism towards real-world tragedies that occurs throughout high school hierarchies in 80’s America, where people exploit the lives (& deaths) of others for clout, with themes of suicide, consent, homophobia & fatphobia. It treads a fine line where any wrongly delivered joke could end up with the crowd being shocked rather than laughing, so it was of course played with skill and talent by the entire cast. The (arguably) main ‘Heather’ (Verity Thomson) of the show was raucously funny, charismatic and really stole the show whenever she was on stage.

Overall, I was laughing, crying, gasping and absolutely dying to sing the songs aloud! I never usually buy theatre merchandise but I just had to buy this dark-as-hell joke mug – if you know, you know! And if you don’t know, then make sure to catch Heathers at your local theatre or at the Belgrade while it’s still showing!

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