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18 January 2016

Heathers: The Musical

Tuesday 12th January 2016
The Playhouse QPAC
 Front row and centre for Heathers The Musical last night had lots of advantages. I didn't miss a thing. I even got terrorised by an angry Heather (Libby Asciak in red below) when she came off stage, sat beside me and tried to stop me applauding one of the other characters with a stare and grabbing my hand. That was fun. 
Its a quite lengthy evening and never stops or has a dull moment no doubt thanks to the direction of Trevor Ashley and the full on talent on stage. Mostly fairly recent graduates of several schools throughout the country including WAAPA which has been popping up in my programmes so often lately and of course NIDA and also Dominic Woodhead from Queensland Conservatorium Griffith University. I met and congratulated Dominic after the show and thanked him for his assistant keyboards for the fabulous Bev Kennedy or Miss Bev as they call her. They have endurance to be able to create such a huge orchestral backing for the full on show. As promised I met up with Bev after and got or gave a hug and a kiss while we chatted. She is quite a sensational star of musical direction and accompaniment and a beautiful and kind woman.
On stage were the astoundingly good looking Stephen Madsen who comes not only with great voice and charismatic acting, but a leading man 'cleft chin'; Stephen McDowell whom I had the great pleasure of meeting at the stage door afterwards and had such a nice chat and congratulations on his Andy Warhol like wig in one scene: 
Jakob Ambrose had a ball with his fellow jock/father/ lover and victim Vincent Hooper as they had so many costume changes which often involved white undies slightly covering their fabulous, been to the gym, bodies, Leigh Sleightholme went from rocker to father with some ease. 

Then we have the girls, the Heathers and the Veronica of Jaz Flowers. Huge voiced Jaz Flowers is a force to be reckoned with, a personality to follow and I almost said hello outside as she was standing beside me, but I am still not doing well on the going out alone stakes: Kirby Burgess as lead Heather is everything a school queen bitch should be, she can command with a glance lead with a raised eyebrow and command without challenge, but then she becomes a ghost. She was outstanding. Also on stage were Erin Clare, Libby Asciak mentioned above, Lauren McKenna who was a particular favourite with her two opposite characters and great voice, Michelle Barr, Rebecca Hetherington, all drawn with individual conviction. It is hard to praise one person over another because so much depends on the role they are lucky enough to get. Each part makes the wonderful whole.
People left with smiles on their face, singing songs they may have heard for the first time and thanking everyone for being there. I was so pleased to run into Benjamin Hambley another graduate from the con, congratulate him on the last performance I saw of his and met his friend another past student just returned from OS. It is great to watch how close all the grads are as they support each other in everything they do. They are so close. I also spoke to director Lewis Jones who was equally unfamiliar with the piece. I loved it all,said a couple of hellos and then got my bus. I would go and see it. This is part of a national tour.
Cast: Jaz Flowers, Kirby Burgess, Stephen Madsen, Erin Clare, Libby Asciak, Lauren McKenna, Vincent Hooper, Jakob Ambrose, Michelle Barr, Rebecca Hetherington, Stephen McDowell, Leigh Sleightholme

Director: Trevor Ashley 
Choreographer: Cameron Mitchell 
Musical Director: Bev Kennedy 
Designers: Emma Vine with Eamon D’arcy 
Costume Design: Angela White 
Lighting Design: Gavan Swift

Book, Music and Lyrics by LAURENCE O’KEEFE & KEVIN MURPHY
Based on the film by DANIEL WATERS

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