Mamma Mia has an infinite amount of respect from fans of Abba and musicals ever since it graced the Prince Edward Theatre in 1999.
It has worldwide acclaim as it toured across Europe, the U.S and Asia to reach to more audiences with the smooth mixture of story with Abba songs. A success that became so captivating that a feature length film was created in 2008 with a championing cast including Meryl Streep, Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan… the list goes on. Judy Craymer as never looked back since she pitched her idea to Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulveaus of Abba.
The cast is enriched with experience with Helen Hobson leading the pack as Donna Sheridan and Lucy May Barker as her daughter Sophie. Gillie Hardie and Emma Clifford take on the roles of Rosie and Tanya respectively who are Donna’s former band-mates. The three gentlemen who get invited to Sophie’s wedding are Alex Bourne as Sam, Jamie Hogarth as Harry and Christopher Hollis as Bill. Helen Hobson boasts the most prominent CV with endless work in theatre and roles in television such as Mrs Leroy from Eastenders. Experience in this cast is just absolutely incredible and it’s balanced with fresh faced actors like Phillip Ryan who plays Sky.
The drive of Mamma Mia’s feel good factor was forever present and never for one minute fell asleep at the wheel. Act One was consistent from the very beginning with the uplifting atmosphere and beautifully mastered vocals. Act Two saw a more serious side to the musical following mishaps between characters. The relationship between Donna and Sophie couldn’t feel more heartwarming as Hobson and Barker mastered these characters perfectly. Hardie was hilarious throughout as the loveable Rosie and Clifford playing Tanya provided great sass. The three gentlemen invited two the wedding were just brilliant to watch throughout the show.
There’s nothing more I can say about the music other than its already a collection of pop masterpieces. In all seriousness, it’s pretty much impossible to fault Abba. All of the songs are sang to near perfection. The female singers outshone the male singers, intentionally of course, but Alex Bourne (Sam) had a nice solo performance for Knowing Me, Knowing You. The set was a minimal yet flexible as it mainly consisted of two walls being rotated here and there to create space. The ending showing crowd participation was very colourful and exciting. There’s barely any fault you could find with this performance.
Mamma Mia seems to get better with age and the mixture of old and young audience members proves that. The chemistry flowing throughout the whole musical was engrossing and fabulous. My main praise goes to Helen Hobson and Lucy May Barker for mastering their roles as Donna and Sophie. However, from the big parts to the ensemble it was a glorious team effort that made every song and dance mesmerising. Mamma Mia succeeds tonight to make you feel tremendous with its irresistible charm and popular soundtrack. If you’re ever in need of a good old cheer up then definitely see Mamma Mia!
You can still buy tickets for the Regent Theatre, Stoke On Trent this week through this link here or you can call their box office on 0844 871 7649.