Mean Girls the Musical
Rating: ★★★★
Venue: Savoy Theatre, London
Cast: Charlie Burn, Georgina Castle, Elèna Gyasi, Grace Mouat, Elena Skye, Tom Xander, Daniel Bravo, Lucca Chadwick-Patel, Ako Mitchell and Zoë Rainey

Meet The Plastics – Regina, Gretchen and Karen. They rule North Shore High and will burn anyone who gets in their way. Home-schooled Cady Heron may think she knows a thing or two about survival of the fittest thanks to her zoologist parents, but high school is a whole new level of savage. When Cady devises a plan to end Regina's reign, she learns the hard way that you can't cross a queen bee without getting stung.

Mean Girls has been a cult classic among teens for over two decades now, and since then has had a successful run on Broadway, multiple US tours, as well as a musical film adaptation. It was finally London's turn to be painted pink (but only on Wednesdays, of course). With a book by Tina Fey, music by Jeff Richmond and lyrics by Nell Benjamin, the musical was always destined for success, but after the many changes made in the musical film adaptation, I was apprehensive around whether the West End version would do the same. 

While changes have been made, overall I think they're for the better, and have updated songs and lines (while some iconic) to move with the times. While Mean Girls feels like a reasonably current film, it's still over twenty years old!

The set by Scott Pask is cleverly done and enables the stage to feel far bigger than it is. Floor to ceiling screens at the back of the stage, paired with minimal props such as chairs, tables and lockers which are switched out with ease throughout the production work really well. The costume design by Katrina Lindsay is incredible. A particular mention must go to Regina's outfit during "Someone Gets Hurt" - Georgina Castle getting into that outfit must be a feat in itself! 

Charlie Burn plays Cady Heron in a surprisingly likeable way, and her vocals are simply unmatched in this production. She reaches every note with ease and wows at every given opportunity. Our plastics Regina (Georgina Castle), Gretchen (Elèna Gyasi) and Karen (Grace Mouat) are a force to be reckoned with. Grace Mouat is a standout in everything I've seen her in, and Mean Girls is no different. Her rendition of "Sexy" is just so fetch...duh!

Elena Skye
and Tom Xander are perhaps the best Janis and Damien the musical theatre world has ever seen. They bounce off one another expertly and the dynamic between the pair is more than believable. While Skye brings the vocals, Xander brings Damien's "too gay to function" personality to life in a scarily accurate way. Fan favourite teachers Mr Duvall (Ako Mitchell) and Ms Norbury (Zoë Rainey) are excellent. I only wish Ako Mitchell had more stage time; he is truly one of the greatest talents in the West End right now.

While many of the numbers are forgettable, the few that are memorable are catchy in a way that'll leave you singing them for days. "Apex Predator", "Sexy" and "I'd Rather Be Me" are highlights of the production. However, Georgina Castle's solo songs, "Someone Gets Hurt" and "World Burn" are the showstoppers of the evening and she both captivates and belts with ease.

While I did enjoy the production, it's difficult not to draw comparisons to shows like Heathers, and Mean Girls feels like Heathers without the edge and grit. However, much like the original movie, Tina Fey knows all too well how to draw in audiences and the writing is utterly brilliant. Some catchy songs, a relatable story, and above all, a whole lot of fun

You can book tickets to see Mean Girls the Musical, here.

**photo credit: Brinkhoff-Moegenburg**

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