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06th Apr 2023

Heathers the Musical director on why this show is the only one you need to see

Ellen Fitzpatrick

“There’s something for everyone.”

Heathers the Musical is an experience if you’ve never been. From an absolutely insane plot line some of the best staging I’ve ever seen, it should be a crime not to go.

Heathers is heading to Dublin’s Bord Gais Energy Theatre this month and ahead of its return to the Irish stage, director Andy Fickman gave Her all the inside goss.

Not only is Andy the genius behind this show, but he has also director iconic films like She’s The Man and The Game Plan, so you can bet I was freaking out before sitting down to chat – only then to freak out a little more when he appeared on the other end of the Zoom call with the posters in the background.

Fans of this show are known to dress as the characters, in a very Rocky Horror-esque way. The show has a cult following, something Andy himself has strived for from his own experience growing up with Heathers.

“Whether it’s a film, theatre, television, you want people to be able to enjoy it – not just when it comes out but over an extended period of time,” Andy said. “We have spent 18 years building the show.”

“To have something where people feel ownership and wanting to dress up. We didn’t know if people in London, and young people, would respond and they have all just gone batsh*t in a good way and have just loved the show.

“When we heard people had done the same in Dublin, it made everyone very happy. When your show’s written by an O’Keefe and a Murphy – all they care about is an Irish audience.”

For those who aren’t familiar with the show, Heathers tells the story of Veronica Sawyer’s relationship with a mysterious new kid at her school, leading to a very dark path for both.

The musical is based on the 1989 film of the same name, starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater. Already with a cult following, the musical version has garnered one in ways that weren’t imaginable.

So it’s an 80s movie about a bunch of angsty teens that now has some music put to it? Yes, but it is so much more than that and Andy tells us exactly why it should be the show you see this year.

“Heathers was one of my favourite movies growing up. Heathers was dark, funny, challenging. It touched me in a manner that high school is challenging, it doesn’t matter what part of the world you’re from. That period of time where you’re still trapped with your family and surrounded by which direction you’re going to go in. The movie ended on a much darker tone, our goal was to end with more hope.

“Not a show goes by without us hearing from somebody who said ‘it really helped me, I was in a dark place, I was feeling bullied and the show reminded me there was hope’. The fact that we’ve been able to help people find a voice.

“For people who are not fans of musicals, Heathers is a great way in because it constantly tweaks certain norms. There’s something for everyone. Sometimes they just have to see the right musical at the right time.”

Heathers The Musical returns to Dublin’s Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from April 25th to May 6th, with tickets on sale from €21.50.

Related links:

Heathers: The Musical is coming to the Bord Gáis this spring and you can’t miss it

Wicked is returning to the Bord Gáis Energy Theatre next summer

West Side Story’s Kyra Sorce on the impact the musical has on a modern society