Mamma Mia, here I go again. My my, how can I resist you? Mamma Mia, does it show again. My my, just how much I’ve missed you?
Mamma Mia was the first Musical I ever took my mum to. Around ten years ago I was working in McDonalds and had saved for months to treat her.
I have vivid memories of the day, sat right up in the gods of the Palace Theatre, my mum’s eyes gleaming with excitement. Possibly even watering due to the altitude, but we didn’t care. That was all we could afford and the view wasn’t terrible.
I had been brought up on ABBA, so I was certain this was the perfect starter Musical for my mam. And as predicted, she came out singing, dancing and raving about the show.
Fast forward a decade later and we’ve replayed the whole memory as we watched Mamma Mia in the city I now call home. Oh how times have changed.
“What’s the name of the game”
Almost a mirror to the blockbuster film, loud, proud and strong minded single mother Donna is preparing for her daughter’s wedding. But said daughter Sophie clearly hasn’t fallen far from the tree, as she invites her three suspected dads. The comedy that unfolds is suitably constructed in three acts like a traditional Greek play; the set up, confrontation and resolution.
The set is just as I remember. Almost exactly. The central crisp white villa rotates in the middle and the white washed walls, blue skies and linen clothing takes you right into the idyllic picture of a baking hot Greek island. Or the UK given the heatwave we’ve been enjoying!
“Super trouper lights are gonna find me”
Barker (Sophie) has a voice as clear as crystal. It is pure and innocent, reflecting her young and naive personality. Whereas White (Donna) is the polar opposite. Strong and a little husky absolutely belting out her numbers. I missed that mother/daughter connection between them but individually they are incredibly watchable.
The whole cast are stars in their own right. Both Sophie and Donna’s friends are silly, saucy and sophisticated all in one, the latter capitalising on the ‘saucy’. The epitome of female friendships. The lads represent typical, well, lads and bring an infectious energy, especially to the downright hilarious beach scene, ‘Does your mother know’.
“Chiquitita, tell me what’s wrong”
The second half doesn’t have the same pace and maybe that’s because a lot of the songs are emotional. Some sections are a little sluggish but the finale makes up for that. Everyone is encouraged to jump up and join in with bonus performances. A bit like the post credits in the film. An ABBA gig within an ABBA musical.
I don’t want to be a killjoy but one of my pet hates is an audience singing over actors. And that happens. A lot. One part of me thinks, at least everyone is having a great time but the other half screams, SHUT UP. Even my own mum was a culprit. But really what did I expect? I’m just about able to deal with it in this type of Musical.
“The winner takes it all”
Sweden may have lost to England in the World Cup, but they are still reigning champions when it comes to music.
Mamma Mia is an uplifting, fun loving and bright eyed pop Musical. It left us dancing in the isles and singing in the streets. It’s pure escapism that I want to experience over and over again. I do, I do, I do, I do, I do, I do.
Grab your glittery platforms, find your fabulous flares and indulge your inner dancing queen. Mamma Mia, it’s a Musical not to be missed!
Playing at the Palace Theatre Manchester until Saturday 14th July. Buy tickets today.