Dressing up to go to the theatre has been around for years, either wearing your Sunday best or for Rocky Horror fans, dressing down to almost nothing.
This year has seen people take it to the next level, with everyone wearing bright pink outfits to the cinema to see Barbie, and filling stadiums with sequins and sparkles for Beyonce, Harry Styles and Taylor Swift.
Heathers the Musical
The Heathers fans certainly got the memo, with the sea of plaid, pleated skirts and primary colours outside the Palace Theatre.
The iconic Heathers the Musical feels like Mean Girls with added music and murder, featuring dark humour and catchy songs that will stick in your head for days.
Heathers is set in 1989 at Westerberg High, where the three Heathers rule the halls, and Veronica Sawyer would kill to be their friend.
Based on the 1989 film, the show focuses on the universal high school experience trope.
The popular girls are bullies, their quarterback sports-star boyfriends are gullible idiots, and the quiet nerdy girl falls for the mysterious angsty new kid, who’s up to no good.
Veronica Sawyer played by Jenna Innes
Veronica Sawyer, played by Jenna Innes, opens the show, singing about her hopes and dreams of being beautiful, she’s sick of being pushed around because she isn’t pretty or popular.
She introduces her stereotypical classmates one by one as they TV-style freeze-frame in position.
The stage is set like an American school cafeteria, with lockers and school spirit banners, and the cast carries blue school lunch trays.
Veronica and her best friend Martha just want to survive her last years in high school, without the relentless bullying from everyone around them.
The Heathers burst onto the stage and are met with a loud round of applause and cheers.
The three Heathers are instantly recognisable in their red, green and yellow uniforms, with matching socks, plaid skirts, and scrunchies.
Who wouldn’t want to be their friend?
The musical became massively popular over lockdown when a snippet of the song ‘Big Fun’ went viral, and you can easily see why.
Their choreographed routine to their song ‘Candy Store’ has everyone clapping and bopping along.
Each song in the musical flows perfectly and fits every scene, Laurence O’keefe knows how to expertly write a catchy song!
Almost instantly some of the darker themes in the show come to light.
Heather Duke played by Elise Zavou
Heather Duke, played by Elise Zavou, can be heard being sick over the bleachers on stage. Heather Chandler, the head b*tch in charge, makes a quick quip about her having an eating disorder.
There are signs across the theatre, in the programme and on the ticket booking pages that make you aware that the show contains adult themes.
There is strong language, themes of murder and suicide, violence and loud noises including gunshots.
The Palace Theatre
The In-house team at the Palace Theatre were even handing out earplugs before the show started to those in the front few rows.
Some of the issues discussed could be upsetting to audience members and the Heathers team do offer places to go for support if anyone needs it.
Despite the dark themes, the show is incredibly funny.
Returning from the interval to a funeral scene might sound a little bleak, however when the fathers of the two dead teens break out into a supportive song, exclaiming I love ‘My Dead Gay Son’ and reveal rainbow ties, it’s hard not to burst out laughing.
Heathers is kept light-hearted and upbeat by the cast members keeping the flow of the show positive.
Veronica is trying her best to keep her new boyfriend J.D. happy, played by Jacob Fowler, the broody beau in a leather trench coat.
Which is made evermore difficult as their friends seem to be dropping dead around them.
To keep up the school spirit, their school guidance counsellor, Ms Fleming, decides to put on a pep rally, with J.D. filming, disco lights filling the theatre and everyone on stage adopting sequin jackets, as if glitter fixes everything.
Turns out, it does.
The audience was encouraged to get involved and cheer with Ms Fleming, played by Katie Paine, as she singled out a man in the front row and made him get up and wave.
However while the school hall is filled with happy students, J.D. has other ideas for the fate of his friends.
Overall, Heathers the Musical is a light-hearted take on the dramatic lives of high school students, full of funny quips and comments, catchy songs and an incredible cast, Heathers is to die for.
Heathers the Musical is on at the Palace Theatre Manchester from the 8th – 12th of August 2023