Segue Productions
Goodwood Institute Theatre
Until 21 Sep 2019

Review by Paige Mulholland

If you haven’t seen the “Heathers” movie, a musical about teen suicide, school bombings and sexual assault might seem like a weird concept. If you have seen the movie, even more so. Can you turn a story as absurd and as dark as “Heathers” into a musical, complete with catchy riffs and jazz hands? It turns out, you can. And, if Segue Productions’ performance was anything to go by, you can do it really damn well.

“Heathers” is the story of Veronica Sawyer, who finds herself suddenly inducted into the clique of queen bees of her high school – Heather Chandler, Heather Duke and Heather McNamara, known collectively as “The Heathers”. Around the same time, she encounters JD – a loner with a dark streak that creates some seriously macabre consequences for Veronica, her frenemies and the rest of the school. Fans of the movie will notice a few small changes, but on the whole the musical tells the story you know and love in an innovative and intimate way.

Millicent Sarre is the vocal standout of the production, showing off her trademark versatility with both sweet, soft, tuneful moments and showstopping, powerhouse belts. Gus Robson is another standout as JD, transitioning gradually from unsettling, socially awkward loner to someone terrifying and unhinged. The Heathers work well together as a trio, and Maya Miller’s performance of “Lifeboat” was arrestingly poignant.

With so many great vocal moments throughout the show, it was unfortunate that it was so hard to hear the soloists over the chorus and the band in some sections of the auditorium. Whole solo verses, particularly in the ensemble numbers, were lost, making it hard to catch the jokes and follow the plot. It was also strange to see the band onstage but facing the back of the room – if the band are going to be on stage, why not make it seem purposeful and engaging?

Aside from these small criticisms, the show was slick across the board, with a versatile set, polished costumes and near-perfectly executed dialogue and blocking.

For fans of cult cinema, modern musical theatre, sharp social commentary or just a really addictive soundtrack, this show should be at the top of your to-do list.

If you haven’t booked your tickets for “Heathers” yet, what’s your damage?