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How to channel your inner Heather before seeing ‘Heathers: The Musical’

30 November 2021 by Gillian Russo
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From left to right: Jodie Steele, Christina Bennington, Bobbie Little, and Frances Mayli McCann in Heathers: The Musical in the West End. (Photo credit: Pamela Raith Photography)

Color us stoked! After two hit runs in the West End, Heathers: The Musical is returning to its Off-West End roots at The Other Palace, where the show first played in London. The adaptation of the 1988 film follows Veronica Sawyer, a high school nobody who soon gets accepted to into the most popular clique at Westerberg High: the Heathers, composed of the timid Heather McNamara, the jealous Heather Duke, and the vicious clique leader Heather Chandler. Motoring away from her “uncool” friends is bad enough of Veronica, but it’s nothing compared to when she falls for the mysterious new kid J.D., who ropes her into his plan to kill the students that make high school hell.

Both the movie and the musical have become cult classics in their own right, bringing ’80s slang back in vogue and filling theatre seats with primary colour-clad teens. Whether you’re new to the Heathers fandom or can sing the cast album by heart, up your game with our guide to how to channel your inner Heather or Veronica. The beautiful parts, that is — not the dead girls walking.

Get Heathers tickets in London on TodayTix.

Talk like a Heather

The Heathers movie coined some iconic phrases, and many of them made it into the musical adaptation. Brush up on your ’80s slang and you’ll sound like a Heather in no time!

  • “How very.” “Very” is Heathers slang to describe something cool, impressive, or fun.
  • “Color me stoked.” This means, “I’m so excited!” Veronica tends to use it in a sarcastic context.
  • “What’s your damage?” Aka, “What’s your problem?” This is a good one to use against someone like Heather Chandler, as Veronica does when Chandler insults her at a party and vows to ruin her reputation.
  • “Gotta motor.” This one’s pretty self-evident — it means, “Gotta go, bye!” Veronica says it to her parents when she gets up in the middle of dinner almost immediately after she sits down.
  • “Fuck me gently with a chainsaw.” This is one of Heather Chandler’s most iconic lines in the movie and the musical, said when Veronica asks her to do something she deems out of the question based on her clique’s rules. You’d use it similarly to “you’ve got to be kidding me” — to emphasize that what someone just said is ridiculous.
the cast of Heathers onstage, with the four principal characters in the foreground
From left to right: Jodie Steele, Christina Bennington, Bobbie Little, and Frances Mayli McCann with the ensemble of Heathers. (Photo credit: Pamela Raith Photography)

Dress like a Heather

The Heathers are the queens of preppy chic. In the musical, each Heather wears a blazer, a short pleated skirt, knee-high socks, and heels in their signature colour — red for Chandler, green for Duke, yellow for McNamara, and blue for Veronica. Choose your favorite character and don their colour, or put your own twist on the Heathers’ style by finding these clothing pieces in your own favorite colour.

Some extra tips to have the most very outfit: A plaid skirt and/or argyle socks solidifies the schoolgirl look and is closest to the Heathers costumes on stage. If you really want to be authentic to the ’80s era, find a blazer with shoulder pads. And no matter what colour you choose, you can add accessories like a tie or jewellery for extra glam that’s unique to you.

Speaking of accessories, no Heathers outfit is complete without a scrunchie. Chandler’s red scrunchie is a symbol of her power as the head of the Heathers clique, not to mention the most popular girl in the entire school. When she dies, Duke steals the scrunchie for herself to cement her status as the new queen bee. So grab a scrunchie in red or your own signature colour to show everyone that the world is your candy store.

Christina Bennington (left) and Jordan Luke Gage in Heathers. (Photo credit: Pamela Raith Photography)

Act like a Heather (or a Veronica)

We’re not saying you should be catty or snobby like the Heathers are. Besides playing mean-spirited pranks and kicking nerds in the nose, they do have other harmless interests to try, as does Veronica when she’s not with the Heathers. You’ll surely have some big fun.

Play some croquet

This sport is one of the most famous Heathers symbols — every musical poster and program shows the clique posing with croquet mallets. The Heathers play much more of it in the movie, but they still play in a few of the musical’s scenes — in both, beating the other girls in croquet is a subtle way for Heather Chandler to remind them who’s boss. Plus, each of the girls’ croquet mallet and ball colours matches their signature outfit colour. Grab your friends and play a few rounds of this simple game, and use the mallets to hit balls through little hoops in the grass.

Munch on some corn nuts

Corn nuts are not only Heather Chandler’s signature snack, but the name for Heathers musical fans. Chandler’s favourite flavour is B-Q, as we learn when she shouts at Veronica to get her some from 7-Eleven, but there are plenty of flavours out there. While you’re at it, grab a slushie — J.D. and Veronica’s favourite — to wash the corn nuts down.

Keep a diary

Veronica’s diary entries are peppered throughout the Heathers movie and musical, and her writing is how we’re introduced to the characters. We also learn about her obsessions — and frustrations — with the Heathers’ cruelty and later with J.D.’s murderous tendencies. Channel the intellectual Veronica by keeping your own diary about your day-to-day life. Hopefully, you won’t write about anything nearly as terrifying as she is.

Pop some Jiffy Pop and rent a movie

Wild parties are the Heathers’ domain, but a movie night with popcorn is Veronica and Martha’s favourite way to spend a girls’ night in. Martha loves movies with a happy ending, and her go-to is The Princess Bride. We, of course, recommend Heathers.

Get Heathers tickets in London on TodayTix.