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Heathers the Musical London West End – Casting and Rehearsal Images

Greetings, salutations and welcome to the West End 2021 class of Westerberg High.

Leading the cast in the highly celebrated return of Heathers the Musical in the West End is Christina Bennington (Bat Out Of Hell) in the role of high school geek Veronica Sawyer and Jordan Luke Gage (& Juliet) as the dark and moody teen, Jason “J.D.” Dean.

L-R Jordan Luke Gage (JD) & Christina Bennington (Veronica) - Heathers West End - Rehearsal Images - Pamela Raith Photography
L-R Jordan Luke Gage (JD) & Christina Bennington (Veronica) – Heathers West End – Rehearsal Images – Pamela Raith Photography.

In the eponymous roles of ‘The Heathers’ is returning cast member Jodie Steele (Six) with her critically acclaimed portrayal of ‘mega bitch’ Heather Chandler, alongside Bobbie Little (Jesus Christ Superstar) as Heather Duke and Frances Mayli McCann (Evita) as Heather McNamara.

They are joined by Joaquin Pedro Valdes (Ram Sweeney), Lauren Ward (Ms. Fleming/Veronica’s Mother), Madison Swan (Martha Dunnstock), Ross Harmon (Kurt Kelly), Simon Bailey (Ram’s Dad/Big Bud Dean/Coach), and Steven Serlin (Kurt’s Dad/Veronica’s Dad/Principal Gowan).

Completing the cast in the ensemble are, Aimee Hodnett, Christopher Parkinson, Giles Surridge, Iván Fernández Gonzáles, Rachel Rawlinson, Rumi Sutton and Teleri Hughes.

Produced by Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor-Mills, this high-octane black-comedy rock musical, based on one of the greatest cult teen films of all time, starring Winona Ryder and Christian Slater, is back with a bang! It will return to the Theatre Royal Haymarket for a strictly limited 12-week season from 22 June – 11 September 2021, with press night on Monday 28 June.

Westerberg High’s Veronica Sawyer is just another nobody dreaming of a better day. But when she joins the beautiful and impossibly cruel Heathers, 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.

The award-winning writing team, Laurence O’Keefe and Kevin Murphy’s hit musical adaptation enjoyed successful runs in Los Angeles and New York; the UK productions are directed by its original New York director, Andy Fickman. Choreography is by Thriller Live’s Gary Lloyd, design by David Shields, lighting by Ben Cracknell and sound by Dan Samson.

Heathers the Musical previously enjoyed two record-breaking seasons, launching at London’s The Other Palace and transferring to the Theatre Royal Haymarket in 2018. In parallel to the show’s return to the West End, the musical will also embark on its first tour of the UK and Ireland, in a separate production and cast, opening at Leeds Grand Theatre on 6 August 2021.

Simon Bailey’s (Ram’s Dad/Big Bud Dean/Coach) stage credits include: Jersey Boys; I Can’t Sing! (London Palladium); Romeo and Juliet The Musical (Piccadilly Theatre); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (New London Theatre); We Will Rock You (Dominion Theatre); Les Misérables (Queen’s Theatre); The Phantom of the Opera (Her Majesty’s Theatre); Passion (Donmar Warehouse); Whisper House (The Other Palace); Bat Boy (Southwark Playhouse); Marry Me a Little (St James Theatre); and Striking 12 (Waterloo East Theatre); Parade (Southwark Playhouse), for which he was nominated in the 2011 Broadway World Awards in the Best Featured Actor in a Musical category; Once Upon A Time at the Adelphi (Liverpool Playhouse); Naked Flame (UK Tour); and Rock Legends (South Africa). Simon is also a founder member of ‘Theatreland’s First Supergroup’ Teatro. Teatro achieved gold status with their eponymous debut album after just 3 weeks, making them one of the fastest selling Musical Theatre acts of all time. Teatro performed in Los Angeles, New York, Dubai and all over the world along with performing for Her Majesty, The Queen at the 2007 Royal Variety Performance at the Liverpool Empire. Simon has also done a lot of concert work, taking him all around the world. Most recently, he has performed in The Phantom of the Opera 25th Anniversary Concert at the Royal Albert Hall.

Christina Bennington’s (Veronica Sawyer) stage credits include: Bat Out Of Hell (Manchester Opera House/London Coliseum/Mirvish, Toronto/New York City Center); Phantom of the Opera: The Concert, Sweeney Todd (Derby/Mercury Theatre Colchester); Show Boat (New London Theatre); The Smallest Show on Earth (UK Tour); A Christmas Carol (Birmingham Rep); and Oklahoma! (UK Tour). Christina’s screen credits include: Queens Of Mystery (Acorn / Sly Fox); Nova Jones (BBC); and The Admirer.

Iván Fernández Gonzáles (Ensemble) will be making his West End debut in Heathers the Musical. Iván has performed in The Clockmakers Daughter, Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Carousel, and Magic of Animation 2(Cadogan Hall Concerts) as well as the One Young World Summit – Opening Ceremony (Royal Albert Hall Concert).

Jordan Luke Gage’s (Jason “J.D.” Dean) stage credits include: Hair (The Turbine Theatre); & Juliet (Shaftesbury Theatre); Bat Out Of Hell (Dominion Theatre); Taboo (Brixton Clubhouse); and Songs Of My Life(Garrick Theatre). Jordan’s screen credits include: BBC Proms In The Park (BBC); Cucumber (Channel 4); Cilla (ITV); In Pieces as Grey (Song Cycle); How Not To Disappear Completely (Beyond Mirrors Productions); and Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix (Warner Bros).

Ross Harmon (Kurt Kelly) made his professional debut playing Sky in Mamma Mia! for Royal Caribbean. During the pandemic, Ross created the role of Charlie in the feature film adaption of Joey Contreras’s song cycle musical In Pieces. Ross will be making his West End debut in Heathers the Musical.

Aimee Hodnett’s (Ensemble) stage credits include: Far From Heaven (Turbine Theatre); White Christmas(Dominion Theatre); Follies (National Theatre); An Officer and A Gentleman (UK Tour); She Loves Me (Menier Chocolate Factory); Miracle On 34th Street (Dubai); The Producers (UK Tour); and Singin’ In the Rain (UK & International Tour). Aimee’s screen credits include The Crown (Netflix) and Christmas With My Father (Netflix).

Teleri Hughes’s (Ensemble) stage credits include: Cinderella (Cardiff New Theatre); Les Misérables (UK and Ireland Tour); and Spring Awakening (Hope Mill Theatre), for which she was nominated for Best Actress in a Musical at the 2018 Stage Debut Awards.

Bobbie Little’s (Heather Duke) stage credits include: Malory Towers (Theatre by the Lake); High Fidelity(Turbine Theatre); Kiss Me Kate (Sheffield Crucible); Little Shop Of Horrors (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Rent (20th Anniversary Tour); Jesus Christ Superstar (Regents Park Open Air Theatre); Hairspray (UK Tour); Carrie (Southwark Playhouse); and Mamma Mia! (Novello Theatre). Bobbie’s screen credits include: Film Stars Don’t Die in Liverpool (Eon Productions); The Grinch Live (NBC, Sky); and Doctor Strange 2 (Marvel).

Frances Mayli McCann’s (Heather McNamara) stage credits include: Les Misérables (UK & International Tour); Evita (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Macbeth (National Theatre); The Great Wave (National Theatre); Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour (National Theatre/UK Tour); Here Lies Love (National Theatre); and Priscilla Queen of the Desert (UK Tour). Frances was nominated for the Olivier Award for Best Actress in A Supporting Role for the role of Kylah in Our Ladies of Perpetual Succour. Frances’ screen credits include: Shetland (Series 5 – ITV); River City (BBC); and Against All Odds (BBC).

Christopher Parkinson’s (Ensemble) stage credits include: & Juliet (Shaftesbury Theatre); Kinky Boots(Adelphi Theatre); The Rocky Horror Show (International tour); Somebody’s Son (UK Tour); Barney’s Colourful World (UK Tour); and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium). Christopher’s screen credits include; Doctors (BBC); Frankenstein’s Wedding (BBC); Mount Pleasant (Sky 1); Franken Twins (Nickelodeon); Half Moon Investigations (CBBC); As The Bell Rings (Disney Channel); Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again(Obscure Pictures); Tied Down With Words (Northern Film School); and Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince (Warner Brothers).

Rachel Rawlinson’s (Ensemble) stage credits include: Priscilla Queen Of The Desert (Norwegian Cruise Line); Jack and the Beanstalk (Harlow Playhouse); Thursford Christmas Spectacular; Grease (Silja Line); WAG! The Musical (Charing Cross Theatre); Anything Goes (Edinburgh Festival Fringe); Sleeping Beauty(Churchill Theatre, Bromley); Billy Elliot (Victoria Palace Theatre); The Sound of Music (London Palladium); Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre); and Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (London Palladium).

Steven Serlin’s (Kurt’s Dad/Veronica’s Dad/Principle Gowan) stage credits include: Preludes (Southwark Playhouse); Saturday Night Fever (Apollo Victoria Theatre/UK Tour); Piaf (Vaudeville Theatre); Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Theatre Royal, Drury Lane); Little Shop of Horrors (Kilworth House); The Wild Party(The Other Palace); Amour (Charing Cross Theatre); Bloody Bloody Jessica Fletcher (for MTFestUK at The Other Palace); We’ll Live and Die in These Towns (Belgrade Theatre, Coventry); Oklahoma (Grange Park Opera); Jack and the Beanstalk (Devonshire Park, Eastbourne & Salisbury Playhouse); I Can’t Sing (London Palladium); The Infidel (Theatre Royal Stratford East); Mack and Mabel (Southwark Playhouse); Peter Pan(Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury); Imagine This (New London Theatre); Monkee Business (UK Tour); Company (Southwark Playhouse); Dick Whittington (Stoke, Aylesbury & Chatham Theatres); Arsenic and Old Lace(Salisbury Playhouse); Our House (UK Tour); Chess The Concert (Royal Albert Hall); Desperately Seeking Susan (West End); Treasure Island (Lincoln Theatre Royal); Boogie Nights (West End and UK Tour); Grease(Dominion Theatre); Scrooge The Musical (UK Tour); Godspell (Rep); The Rocky Horror Show (UK Tour); Elvis the Musical (UK Tour); Popcorn (Rep); Ken Hill’s Zorro (Theatre Royal Stratford East); A Slice Of Saturday Night (Tour); Jesus Christ Superstar (25th Anniversary Tour); Bedroom Farce (Rep); Chess (UK Tour); Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK Tour); Copacabana (UK Tour); and The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Rep). Steven’s screen credits include: Frank Stubbs Promotes; Inspector Poirot; Casualty; Royal Variety Show; and Musical Star.

Jodie Steele’s (Heather Chandler) stage credits include: Hair (Turbine Theatre); Six (UK Tour); Rock Of Ages(UK Tour); Heathers (Theatre Royal Haymarket/The Other Palace); Myth (The Other Palace); Wicked (UK & International Tour); The Great American Trailer Park Musical (Waterloo East Theatre); War of the Worlds(Dominion Theatre); Legally Blonde (Kilworth House); Jesus Christ Superstar (UK Tour); Fame (UK Tour), The Theory of Relativity (Drayton Arms Theatre); Miracle on 34th Street (UK Tour); Tina Turner Arena Experience(Holland); Bare the Rock Opera (Greenwich Theatre); Rent (The Tabard Theatre); Follies (Yvonne Arnaud Theatre); and 3 Composers 3 Countries (The Landor). Jodie’s screen credits include; Two Wolves (Lupine Productions).

Giles Surridge’s (Ensemble) stage credits include: 9 to 5 The Musical (Savoy Theatre). Giles’s screen credits include; Visions of Beulah (Short Film); and Children in Need (BBC).

Rumi Sutton (Ensemble) will be making her West End debut in Heathers the Musical. Rumi graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2021.

Madison Swan’s (Martha Dunnstock) stage credits include: Mickey and the Magician (Disneyland Paris); and The Book of Mormon (Prince of Wales Theatre).

Joaquin Pedro Valdes’s (Ram Sweeney) stage credits include: Miss Saigon (UK & International Tour); The King and I (UK & International Tour); and Fanny and Stella (The Garden Theatre, Vauxhall). Joaquin will be making his West End debut in Heathers the Musical.

Lauren Ward’s (Ms. Fleming/Veronica’s Mother) UK stage credits include: Dear Evan Hansen (Olivier Nomination – Noël Coward Theatre); Caroline or Change (The Playhouse Theatre/Hampstead Theatre/Chichester Festival Theatre); Matilda (Cambridge Theatre/ Courtyard Theatre, RSC); Bat Boy The Musical (Southwark Playhouse); The Sound of Music (London Palladium); The Philadelphia Story (The Old Vic); A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); Camelot (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); The Winter’s Tale (RSC); Pericles (RSC); The Vagina Monologues (Arts Theatre); Dubarry Was a Lady (Lost Musicals season at Her Majesty’s Theatre); Johnny Johnson (Lost Musicals-Sadlers Wells); and Elegies (Arts) Theatre. Lauren’s Broadway credits include: Matilda (Tony Nomination – Shubert) Theater); Follies (Belasco Theater); 1776 (Gershwin Theatre); The Heiress (Lincoln Center); and Carousel (Lincoln Center). Her Off-Broadway credits include: The New Moon (City Center Encores); Carousel in Concert (Carnegie Hall); Time and Again (MTC); Saturday Night (Second Stage); Wise Guys (NYTW); and Jack’s Holiday, Violet (Drama Desk Nomination, Drama Logue Award – Playwrights Horizon). Her US regional credits include: Compleat’Female Stage Beauty (Philadelphia Theatre Co.); Rough Crossing (Hartford Stage Co.); The Glass Menagerie Great Lakes Theater); As You Like It (Great Lakes Theater); Romeo and Juliet (Colonial Theater); She Stoops to Conquer (Walnut Street); The Royal Family (Utah Shakespeare); and Tartuffe (Utah Shakespeare). Lauren’s screen credits include: Kiss Me First; Doctors; The Last Days of the Lehman Brothers; A Touch of Frost; Torchwood; Broken News; Law and Order: SVU; Joe Gould’s Secret; Story of Bad Boy; and In & Out.

Bill Kenwright & Paul Taylor-Mills
By arrangement with the Theatre Royal Haymarket present
Theatre Royal Haymarket
By Laurence O’Keefe & Kevin Murphy
Directed by Andy Fickman
Associate Director and Choreography by Gary Lloyd
Design by David Shields
Lighting by Ben Cracknell
Sound by Dan Samson

Running Time: Approx. 2 hours 30 minutes including interval
Dates: Tuesday 22 June – Saturday 11 September 2021
Press Night: Monday 28 June 2021

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