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Move over, Regina George. The original Mean Girls are back in town.

Teen angst gets a body count in this musical take on Heathers, the cult 80s black comedy film about the brainy and beautiful Veronica, who hustles her way into her high school’s cruellest clique and starts taking down the popular kids with the help of her mysterious new boyfriend.

Australian cabaret darling Trevor Ashley makes his directorial debut with Heathers: The Musical, which sold out its entire opening season at the Hayes Theatre last year. Following a “fabulous” run in Melbourne, this bigger and better production is now storming the Opera House.

“It sits on that nice line between taking the piss out of the film and paying respect to it,” explained Trevor.

“I think for me [the story has] a lot of gags and a lot of really fun moments, but I also love that it twists and becomes actually quite a serious subject matter,” said Trevor. “For me that makes it a perfect show – you laugh your head off but you’re also really moved and rather horrified by the end.”

Trevor had always wanted to try his hand at directing, so he decided to start work on his first run of Heathers as “something to push him to be more creative” in between performing in last year’s main stage production of Les Misérables.

Trevor assures fans of the original story that they’ll be delighted by the show and its surprisingly sophisticated musical score, also adding: “What we were thrilled to see is just how many young people come to see Heathers, it’s a really great, identifiable thing for teenagers to see…” (AM)

Jun 8–26. Playhouse Theatre, Sydney Opera House. $59.90-$89.90. Tickets & info: sydneyoperahouse.com or 9250 7777