Rebecca was lucky to receive tickets for Heathers the Musical tour for her birthday (thank you Ceri and Lexy). We were very excited, especially as it was our first time at the Wales Millennium Centre since the closures due to Covid-19. It felt so good to see The Centre opening its doors once more and for theatre to come back to life on stage.
Read on to find out what procedures are in place to keep everyone safe and to find out our thoughts on Heathers the Musical:
Heathers the Musical
Following two smash-hit West End seasons and the WhatsOnStage Award for Best New Musical, Heathers The Musical, the black comedy rock musical based on the eponymous 1988 film, has finally come to theatres across the UK for the first time!
Westerberg High’s Veronica Sawyer is just another nobody dreaming of a better day. But when she joins the beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers and her dreams of popularity may finally come true, mysterious teen rebel JD teaches her that it might kill to be a nobody, but it is murder being a somebody.
A Weekend in Cardiff
Going to the theatre is never just going to the theatre, is it? It’s a treat and an experience. It’s getting dressed up (as “Heathers” on this occasion, going out for a meal, and having drinks. For those of us who live outside of Cardiff, it’s also a hotel or weekend stay. Rebecca and I got to stay with Ceri and Lexy in Newport for the weekend, for the first time in ages. We enjoyed our meal at Pizza Express before making our way across the road to the Wales Millennium Centre.
Before we even got to WMC, we spotted fellow “Heathers” goers also making their way around Cardiff Bay. There was a real sense of camaraderie within the crowds. Everyone smiled and chatted with each other, compliments were exchanged about “Heather” costumes and accessories. There was a buzz in the air as we all shared a common goal and mutual excitement. There’s no doubt, this cult film, is now a cult musical.
Covid Safe Procedures
Speaking of crowds, when a lot of people come together there needs to be a way of keeping them all safe during these Covid-19 times. WMC have a number of safety procedures in place:
- In line with the Welsh Government legislation, everyone 18+ coming to see a show (since 15 November) will need to show an NHS Covid Pass or proof of a recent negative Covid test result with photo ID. I added my NHS Covid Pass to my Apple Wallet so it was easy to bring up when needed. Rebecca is under 18, so, just in case, I bought her passport and vaccine card but these weren’t needed.
- You also must wear a mask throughout your visit to WMC unless you’re consuming food or drink, or you are exempt.
- There are plenty of hand sanitising stations throughout the building – so you can sanitise regularly.
- Tickets are now Contactless E-Tickets and Cashless ordering is available for refreshments and programmes.
- WMC benefits from enhanced cleaning.
Do not visit WMC if you have any symptoms of Covid-19, have tested positive within ten days or have been identified as a close contact of a positive case. If you cannot attend a performance due to any of the above reasons, please contact WMC by 10 am on the day of the performance and they will refund, credit or exchange your tickets so you can return when it is safe to do so.
I did feel safe during our visit. We also took Lateral Flow before our visit just in case. However, even though social distancing is in place, going to a show does mean that a lot of people are packed into one indoor area close together. The ritual of someone having to pass close by you to get to their seat has not been eradicated (maybe one day someone could invent an app to sit people in the most appropriate order in a theatre). Wear a mask, sanitise, keep at a distance where you can and just be as safe as you can be.
Read more about Covid Safety at Wales Millennium Centre.
Thoughts on Heathers the Musical
All thoughts of Covid-19 or indeed any worries at all thankfully left my head as the music began and the curtains opened to Heathers the Musical. That’s the joy of going to a live theatre show, especially a musical. It can be difficult to explain the appeal of Heathers to newcomers to the show. It’s dark and on the surface may look as if it trivialises murder and high school suicide. However, it’s a lot more than that and with the bright 80s sets, high energy song and dance numbers and most of all the tongue in cheek humour allows the musical to get away with all these dark topics in a bright and colourful way that sinks in deeply. You’ll find yourself not only singing the songs after the show but also thinking about those real-life teen and high school issues in depth after the show. You leave wanting to “make it beautiful…”.
I love it ALL but my favourite parts of the show were:
- The amazing costumes from the iconic Heathers’ preppy short skirts and socks outfits to all the homage to the 80s looks.
- The musics, the songs- in particular “Beautiful”, “Seventeen”, “Dead Girl Walking” and “I am Damaged”; and the amazing strong voices that sing them- such a talented cast.
- The main character, Veronica. Veronica in the musical version is a lot more relatable and likeable than Winona Ryder’s film version (which I also love but in a different, cooler way). Veronica is geeky, confident and excitable. If only she didn’t dump her best friend, Martha Dunnstock, for the popular “Heathers” and begin to “accidentally” kill off fellow pupils. During our show, Veronica was played by May Tether, who was completely amazing and enjoyable to watch. As a stand-in she looked so happy and grateful for this opportunity, applause and, more than well deserved, standing ovation that she recieved at the end of the show. Well done May!
- I loved Veronica and J.D.s initial romance (even though I probably shouldn’t!).
- Heather Chandler- now you’d think we, the audience, would hate “Red Heather” the ringleader of the pack, but she’s amazing. She’s so bad, she’s good. She’s as evil as a pantomime baddie but she easily wins the crowd over.
- The Heathers! As a trio, they’re basically the perfect girl group, with their tunes and sassy coordinated dance moves.
- The “My Dead Gay Son Scene”- the positive cheers of support during this number were so encouraging. It’s a powerful scene that will also have you laughing.
- The witty lines and lyrics.
- Heathers the Musical teaches you life lessons and makes you want to do better. Imagine if everyone went to see it and felt that way.
Heathers the Musical took me through every emotion but we all ended on an exuberant note standing, clapping and dancing along to the encore number. Thank you to every member of the cast on stage in Cardiff- you were all amazing! Thank you to the crew too for making it possible. I really enjoyed this musical and would recommend going to see it, however, please do be aware that considering the possible trigger issues, including eating disorders, rape, attempted suicide and murder, it is not suitable for everyone.
Watch the video to get a taste of the show:
Heathers is recommended for ages 14 and up (depending on maturity). Tickets are available starting at £25.
During the interval, we enjoyed drinks in the bar. Interval drinks can be ordered in advance and picked up from the hatches. We hadn’t preordered ours but there was still time to join the queue and order our drinks. They can now be bought into the theatre.
Oh, Wales Millennium Centre, it was good to be back!
Ceri, Rebecca and Lexy.
Although we went to the afternoon show, it was dark by the time we came out and Cardiff looked beautiful and Christmassy. Trains weren’t running to and from Cardiff Bay so we walked back into Cardiff, admiring the Christmas lights on the way.
Miss the Tour? Heathers the Musical is showing in London until February 2022.
Beauty and the Beast at Wales Millennium Centre
For a real Christmas (or New Year) treat, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast Musical is currently showing at Wales Millennium Centre until 15th January 2022. It looks magical and there are still some tickets left.