Hilary Cole to replace Jaz Flowers in Heathers, Melbourne season

It’s a switcheroo for Westerberg High!

Hilary Cole and Lucy Maunder will star in Heathers, Melbourne
Hilary Cole and Lucy Maunder will star in Heathers, Melbourne. Image by John McRae

The producers of Heathers: The Musical Australia have confirmed that Hilary Cole (Dogfight, Miracle City) will join the cast as Veronica Sawyer, the beautiful and brainy teenage misfit, when Heathers hits Arts Centre Melbourne in May.

Rebecca Hetherington – an original ensemble member from the 2015 Hayes Theatre Co production – will move into the role of Heather McNamara for this season.

Cole and Hetherington replace original cast members Jaz Flowers and Erin Clare as they join the We Will Rock You tour in the principal roles of Oz and Scaramouche.

Hilary Cole has performed leading roles in some of Sydney’s most exciting Independent Musicals over the past few years including Carrie, The Drowsy Chaperone, Miracle City and Dogfight, to great acclaim. But the Melbourne gal is thrilled to be joining the cast of Heathers as the show heads to her hometown, if only so her family and friends can see her perform on home soil.

“It’s pretty freaking cool”, Cole said during an interview today. “I’m still pinching myself a little bit… I moved to Sydney three years ago and this is the first time I’ve been back home to perform. All my family and friends are there.”

A fan of the show already, Cole had the opportunity to rehearse with the cast during the show’s recent Brisbane run, and is keen to make the role her own.

“I adore [Veronica]. I think Veronica is just such a kick-ass role. She’s confused and sweet and all those cute, annoying, teenager-y things, but she’s freaking kick-ass as well. I’ve always loved it”

“I didn’t realise it was going to have a second life, but when they asked me to audition, I thought ‘Whoa! I get to revisit all of those hopes and aspirations and see if I can give this one a crack!’ I’d forgotten that I was desperate to play this role.”

Rebecca Hetherington, Lucy Maunder and Libby Asciak as The Heathers. Image by John McRae
Rebecca Hetherington, Lucy Maunder and Libby Asciak as The Heathers. Image by John McRae

As an actor, Cole is a true chameleon, with every role she tackles vastly different from the one before. From the troubled Carrie in Carrie, to ingénue Janet in The Drowsy Chaperone, to idealistic Rose in Dogfight, and now to Veronica in Heathers, Cole says it’s “a dream” to be afforded the opportunity to play such a wide range of characters.

“Being able to reinvent every time is a dream. You get to create a totally original voice for each of them. It doesn’t bleed into anything else you do. It’s a complete treat. I can’t deny how lucky I am to have done all of them. And to top it off with this one – another awesome role to play. It’s terrifying, but amazing.”

Although Cole has been keeping this incredible news a secret since before Christmas, she will finally be making her first appearance as Veronica Sawyer when the cast of Heathers perform ‘Shine a Light’ tonight (22 February) at Hats Off For Harmony in Sydney, led by Sydney Theatre Award winning actress Lauren McKenna.

“I’m just stoked for people to know. I’ve known since before Christmas and I’ve just wanted to shout it! After we did the photo shoot I was thinking “I don’t know know how much longer I can keep this a secret, cause these photos are the campest things I’ve ever seen!” My hair is still recovering from that shoot.”

Hilary Cole and Rebecca Hetherington join Lucy Maunder, Stephen Madsen, Libby Asciak and Lauren McKenna in Heathers: The Musical at Arts Centre Melbourne from May 11-22 2016.

Heathers: The Musical

Arts Centre Melbourne: 11 – 22 May 2016



Erin James

Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

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