Heathers: The Musical – Playhouse debut for Dundee actor as UK tour reaches final week

When I was in Newcastle for the Great North Run back in September, I tried to get tickets for Heathers The Musical which was running for a week at the Theatre Royal.

By John Murray
Wednesday, 8th December 2021, 5:27 pm

It would have rounded off a great wee break, but tickets were hard to get due to the popularity and not forgetting the amount of visitors to the town that weekend.

The big UK tour continues though and following a great run in the West End at Theatre Royal Haymarket the record-breaking production by Bill Kenwright and Paul Taylor-Mills is at the Edinburgh Playhouse until Saturday.

This also gave me a chance to catch up with one of the stars Simon Gordon who was originally from Broughty Ferry.

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Simon Gordon on stage with Rebecca Wicks in heathers: The Musical (Pic: Pamela Raith)

He had never played the Playhouse until now, so it was dream come true time after years of being in audience and enjoying big productions like Phantom Of The Opera back in the day.

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This closes the tour and means he can be home in Dundee for Christmas.

Simon had started in the industry aged ten with the Stagecoach stage workshops and this would lead him to his debut in the West End playing lead in Bat Out Of Hell the Jim Steinman musical with songs made famous by Meat Loaf amid flames, bats and motor bikes.

Simon Gordon

He was also chosen to be one of the leads in Jesus Christ Superstar with Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber while he was still in university.

The skills required for new musical theatre include primarily acting but with great vocals and dance and that advice was given to him from Sir Andrew himself.

This can be demonstrated in the song Seventeen which he sings to the leading lady Rebecca Wickes (who plays Veronica Sawyer) as a show stopping number.

The Veronica character comes to Westerberg High School as a nobody and meeting the Heathers she realises she might become a ‘somebody’ while rebel JD (played by Simon) has alternative ideas.

Heathers The Musical has been hailed as a comedy success and deals with eating disorders, violence, bullying and suicide from the teen stars.

Written by Kevin Murphy and Lawrence O’Keefe, directed by Andy Fickman with choreography by Gary Lloyd it was all based on the 1988 cult movie which starred Christian Slater and Wynona Ryder.

Looking ahead Simon aspires to join the Trainspotting musical currently in the planning stages and especially as Scottish based musical theatre is so rare, on that scale anyway. It has been a long tour though from Liverpool, Manchester, Dublin but it all ends in Edinburgh and this week only.

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