Wednesday, 22 September 2021

REVIEW: Heathers at the Sheffield Lyceum Theatre

For many, your school years are the best years of your life. For others it’s a constant battle with teenage angst and the struggle to achieve popularity, but just how far will you go to be popular?

For Veronica Sawyer (May Tether) only one thing can ease the high school struggle, become friends with the top of the social food chain, the Heathers (Maddison Firth, Lizzy Parker, Merryl Ansah). 

The show itself, though laden with understudies for Ram (Callum Connolly), Martha (Bayley Hart) and Veronica (May Tether) was faultless. A special mention to Rachel Rawlinson and Aimee Hodnett who came up from the West End cast to cover their respective roles in the tour. Not a single actor looked out of place and a huge nod to the unsung heroes within the cast ready to jump in when called upon. 

A lot of what made the show work so well was the chemistry of the cast, Veronica and JD (Simon Gordon) constantly bounced off each other, allowing the other to showcase both their vocal and acting ability. Gordon’s voice had a soft charismatic charm to it, his rendition of ‘Freeze Your Brain’ was a delight. Tether on the other hand was a force to be reckoned with, a powerhouse of a performance as she belted through her numbers showcasing her range. 

Another fine example was the three Heathers, though not much time spent singing together the acting was superb, strong on their own but even stronger as a trio, blending seamlessly. Each Heather had their song to show their ability and it must be said that Parker’s portrayal of Heather McNamara was the standout of the three, her performance of ‘Lifeboat’ was both devastating and uplifting. The ability to make what’s predominantly a sad song showcase a range of emotions shows the ability that Parker brings to her performance. 

What was once an 80’s teen drama has now become more relevant than ever, tackling heavy issues such as popularity, anxiety, depression and suicide, but using a humorous and lighthearted approach to create an open channel to communicate through. Kevin Murphy and Laurence O’Keefe’s book, music and lyrics have changed Heathers from a cult classic into a worldwide phenomenon, how very… 

Review by George Butler

Rating: ★★★★

Seat: Dress Circle D20 | Price of Ticket: £45
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