Review: Happy Girl

Crowded Nest
Surgeons Hall, Nicholson Street – until August 18th
3 Stars (3 / 5)

“We girls could all be friends if we wanted to be.”

Gender Issues are unavoidable in life, contemporary theatre, and certainly at The Fringe – whether you care about them or not – and some have commented that they find them tiresome.

Happy Girl is not a re-offering of trodden-out feminist stereotypes and talking-points though. Using the words of real girls it is a deeply human exploration of how high school girls interact – offering insight into the pressures put on them: partly by society – but largely by one another – to conform to something; anything… one image or another… even if it’s only because a good offence really is the best defense against being labelled.

The cast of A-level students from Marylebone CE School in London – 9 strong – each bring something unique to their roles, the humour and popular culture references which spice the narrative prevent the material from being needlessly heavy, but the highlights are by far and away the choreographed sections when the cast come together and dominate the stage with their line-dancing routines.

If the personal is political, then Happy Girl succeeds in being the second by remaining deeply rooted in the first.