Mean Girls

I descend the stairs into the Savoy Theatre with a little apprehension.  There has been so much publicity and hype about Mean Girls coming into the West End – that I worry they are setting themselves up to fail. Mean Girls has a good pedigree, two films and a Broadway show in its name – and I haven’t seen any of them! Mean Girls even comes with its own language which some of the fans can recite by heart. Would I get it it?

I need not have worried! This show is amazing with production values that are second to none! The set is predominantly LED screens – but none of the pixelated images of the past, these screens are super, high definition – as I am to learn is the rest of the production. Not only is it high definition but it’s also high speed. Lamps fly in, doors, lockers etc glide into place or pop up from the traps and instantly the story moves ahead, in literally the blink of an eye. This is the speed of movies on stage.

Enter Janis and Damian (Elena Skye and Tom Xander) our story tellers for the evening who address the audience directly. Janis and Damian are proudly the outsiders the of the numerous cleeks in High School. Soon they are to become the self-appointed guide to Cady (Charlie Burn) who, having been home schooled in Kenya, has moved to this Chicago suburb to broaden her education. It certainly is broadened, when she is spotted by Regina (Georgina Castle) the queen bee and the meanest of the Mean Girls, known as The Plastics (because they are shiny, fake and hard). Befriended by Janis and Damian, Cady agrees to spy on the Mean Girls – until they can exact their revenge for various past hurts. But Cady soon becomes even meaner than any of the girls she's hanging out with and becomes addicted to the elixir of popularity.

This show is one of the tightest productions I have seen on the stage for many years. From the set changes to the choreography, orchestration to the almost perfect sound mix. Congratulation, indeed awards should go to Brian Ronan (sound design) and the team for this crystal clear mix. So often a production is ruined by poor sound – this show is enhanced in spades by their crew’s work. So much so I was convinced the band was in another room, but no, they were in the pit.

Musically the songs are a great mix, from the joy filled: 'Where do you belong', the attack of 'Revenge Party' and the melodious 'What’s Wrong With Me'. Each character having their own distinctive sound and signature moves.

A shout out too should be given for Zoe Rainey who plays all the mature female characters with such skill and dexterity, you begin to wonder if the role is being shared. In the end, although The Plastics truly live up to the Mean Girls reputation, you can’t help but feel for every character in the piece. In many ways they are two dimensional, but the two dimensions they are presenting to the world only seek to hide the vulnerable child underneath. The whole cast are performing at the top of their game. However, praise should be poured upon Grace Mouat playing Karen – who might be described as a dumb blonde with dark hair. But somehow deep down I think she carries much wisdom and Grace delivers her with impeccable comic timing. Bravo!

In summary: Great sound, great choreography, all in all a great production. I never knew being mean could be so good. Believe the hype - this is the show to be seen this season.

This show was reviewed on the 27th June 2024 at the Savoy Theatre, London where it runs until the 16th February 2025.  Tickets available here: Mean Girls Musical - London

Review written by Paul Wood


Photo credit: Brinkhoff / Mogenburg

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