Trending 19th April 2023 by Jade Carpenter
STELLAR Chats To Star Of Heathers The Musical Jenna Innes
The Heathers, in the flesh!
If you’re a fan of musicals, chances are Heathers has made it onto your TikTok FYP.
The sound from the show, which includes the iconic line, “Shut up Heather, Sorry Heather!” had many a trio bopping their hips to the catchy tune, and getting everyone even more excited about the cult classic show.
Based on the 1989 film, the musical is set in a high school and deals with heavy topics that all teens face, while still keeping it light-hearted and embracing what it is to be a young person trying to fit in, whatever it takes.
With the show making its way to Dublin very soon playing in the Bord Gais from the 25th April- 06 May 2023, I got to know one of the stars of the show Jenna Innes, who will be playing Veronica. We chatted about everything from how the cast gets on, theatre etiquette and what she’s looking forward to in Dublin.
“I was [in Dublin] last year with Les Mis and I loved it. And we’re there for two weeks, it’s just nice exploring different parts and meeting different people. We’re a bunch of friends who are touring and doing a show every night. I’m excited to go back to Temple bar where all the live gigs are, the atmosphere there is so brilliant,” she told me.
I asked whether she’d be up for a singalong in the pub if she was asked on stage, “Oh yeah, one or two Guinnesses and we would absolutely,” she said.
Jenna always knew she wanted to do something in music or theatre, and after many years of amateur theatre as a kid and teen, she headed off to London for drama college, she has been auditioning and working ever since.
Veronica is not your usual musical protagonist, she has some *spice*, so I had to know, what’s it like to play her?
Jenna said, “I don’t think there are many female roles like it in musical theatre currently, she’s funny, she’s smart, she makes mistakes. She’s not a perfect example, but she learns from those mistakes and I think that’s such a great message.
“I think that’s why it resonates a lot with young people. She is flawed, she is emotionally intelligent in some ways and then emotionally lost in others.
“And I think we’ve all had that feeling of being seventeen and being desperate to be accepted by people. She does that for a while and then she kind of realises it’s not for her. And I love that message, be true to who you are and what you believe in.”
On the topic of the show’s dedicated fanbase, Jenna told me, “It’s brilliant. I always love meeting people at the stage door, they’ve all gone on a little Heathers journey whether they’ve travelled from somewhere to see it or waited for the show to come. What’s so nice is bringing it to people who haven’t had a chance to see the show, who have always wanted to.”
When I went to see the show in London, I noticed many members of the audience were dressed in the attire of their favourite character, whether it was a colourful scrunchie (red, blue, green, or yellow), a blazer or a jock jacket.
The sense of community surrounding the show was infectious, Jenna said, “There’s always someone dressed up, whether it’s head-to-toe or just ‘I’ve worn red today’, there’s always someone out there who has got the scrunchie or whatever it is.”
We love the dedication, it’s “so very” exciting!
Although we all love a dedicated fan base, the recent controversy about fans singing along to some theatre shows has raised a conversation about just how involved you should get while watching your favourite show live.
Jenna explained, “Singing along is never acceptable unless explicitly asked to by the people on stage or if you’ve bought tickets to a sing-along performance. The people on stage can hear you but it’s mainly the fellow patrons in the audience who have spent money to see other people doing it, that’s the lack of respect.
“It’s an entitlement, ‘I’ve bought a ticket, so I’m allowed to sing,’ no, that’s not how it is. You’ve bought a ticket, and you’ve agreed to suspend your disbelief for two hours and to watch something that people have created.
“There has never ever been an issue with theatre etiquette [with the Heathers audience]. Security or police have never been called. They respect the job that people are doing.”
There we have it! Save your sing-along for the drive home.
For those who haven’t heard of Heathers, I asked Jenna to give an introduction of what we can expect…
“Heathers is a dark comedy that everyone no matter if you’re in your 50s or 15, can relate to. Everyone knows what it’s like to be a teenager and not feel accepted. The music is great, you’ll be leaving there tapping your toes to something. It’s two hours and you will feel uplifted and joyful at the end, I don’t see how you wouldn’t!” she said.
Sold yet? Of course you are, nab your tickets now to catch the show when they arrive in Dublin next week, everything you need is here.
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