'Heathers' star Jenna Innes on playing Veronica Sawyer in the West End

The Aberdeen actress heads to the West End in Heathers, which follows high school “nobody” Veronica Sawyer as she breaks into the popular Heathers clique.

Olivia Rook
Olivia Rook

Jenna Innes isn’t afraid of a challenge. During the pandemic, she was a part of the touring production of Les Misérables as first cover Eponine, and she received a call one morning, asking if she would perform in the West End show — but as Fantine, a part she had never covered. Met with the option of stepping up or the show closing, Innes had no choice. “I sprung into action and half an hour later, I was on stage at the Sondheim Theatre,” she says.

Innes is clearly an actress with nerves of steel, something she needs for her latest part in hit musical Heathers, which is back in the West End. She is reprising the role of high school “nobody” Veronica Sawyer, a teenager who learns there’s a dark side to popularity.

Innes caught up with London Theatre Magazine about what Heathers means to her and how she’d like to see the industry change.

How did you get into theatre?

I joined Stagecoach classes on a Saturday and I was there for years. I fell in love with it. I was part of the choir in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, which came on tour to Aberdeen. I was eight years old and I had this epiphany of: “Oh my God, these adults, this is their job, they don’t just do this for fun.”

What does starring in Heathers mean to you?

This show means so much to so many people. It’s got this beautiful following of quite young people and they fall in love with this show, the people, and the story. You’ve got to do it justice, so there’s that little bit of pressure.

Personally, it’s amazing to know I can do something like this — a massive, challenging role, both emotionally and vocally. That was daunting last year, when I hadn’t done it before.

How have you made the role of Veronica your own?

When I first took the job, I hadn’t seen Heathers and I had a decision to make: am I going to watch everything or am I going to try and stay away from it? I decided to stay away from everything because I wanted to give it my own little spin. I wanted to read the script and come to the lines and songs from a fresh place. I don’t want to do a bad impression of Carrie Hope Fletcher [who originated the role in the West End], I want to make a good impression of myself.

How would you like to see the theatre industry change?

I’d love to see ticket prices be way more affordable for people who aren’t used to going to the theatre. With Heathers, it’s often the gateway into a whole new world.

Book Heathers tickets on London Theatre.

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Photo credit: Jenna Innes. (Photo by Jasmine Aurora)

This article was first seen in the June issue of London Theatre Magazine.

Originally published on

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