Mamma Mia-3 Stars




Whenever I go to London, I dread going to Waterloo Station because there is no was I can read the word ‘Waterloo’ without singing it in my head. And then because it is so catchy, it’s ear-worming its way around for the next few days. So poppy. So catchy. I went to Mamma Mia on Tuesday and I still have Super Trouper going round and round.


Mamma Mia is what you’d expect from any musical based on the songs of a band. A tenuous at best plot with sometimes awkward dialogue awkwardly interspersed with songs. The transitions between song and dialogue often feels clunky and deliberate. But lets face it, no body is going to Mamma Mia for the plot. You go for the feel-good, addictive-like-sugar Swedish pop. And the occasional sequined onesie.


The best moments are the large chorus numbers. Particular highlights for me are always (this is the third time I’ve seen it…) the entire male cast dancing in flippers to Lay All Your Love On Me and the whole cast encore which is a Mega mix of Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen and Waterloo. Everytime I’ve been this encore has had the entire audience on their feet dancing which creates a very cool buzz to leave the show on.


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The ensemble were brilliant- they sounded great and were so high energy. In fact, at the end of the show we were commenting how we would almost have been happier with a 1 hour mega-mix minus the average plot.


In terms of the casting, Donna played by Delia Hannah was brilliant and classy. She was perfectly paired with Jackie Clarke and Minouk van der Velde who played her two best friends and ex-band mates, Tanya and Rosie. They both gave hilarious performances and there solo numbers were certainly the strongest of the show.


Aimee Gray was not particularly strong as Sophie, though in fairness it is a bit of a nothing part in comparison to the other leads. Neither were Sam (Richard Neame), Harry (Strephen O’Reilly) or Bill (John Hellyer) who felt somewhat tired in spite it being opening night. My date for the night posited the difference in quality between the three men and three women was a reflection on how much harder the industry is for women and how much harder they have to work for the same opportunities as there are more women and fewer female parts.


I would go if you love Mamma Mia but aren’t too picky about the quality of your musical theatre. There were a few things that bugged me but I had a great time and certainly left with a smile on my face.


Tickets here.