Wednesday, 15 June 2016

"Mamma Mia"
Nottingham Royal Concert Hall.

I loved the film when it came out and guess what? I absolutely LOVE this stage production. What is there not to like about this brilliant fun, happy, feel good show?

The music of Abba is timeless. It's catchy. You'll find yourself singing along quietly with the show. You'll tap your feet, you'll clap your hands and at the end you get the chance to get up out of your seats and dance, sing and clap along and I did all three and I loved it.

The story is of Sophie, daughter of Donna. Sophie is getting married to Sky and, understandably, she wants her dad at the wedding. But the only problem is, she has the choice of three. She only knows the three, Harry, Sam and Bill, because she read her mum's diary. the three dads come over to the Greek isle and that's where the fun begins.

It's a brilliant cast with local connections, because playing Donna is Nottingham born Sara Poyzer. I've seen Sara in several productions and have had the pleasure of chatting to her on several occasions. Sara has a beautiful voice for musical theatre and when she sand "The Winner Takes It All" she put every ounce of emotion into that song, which was greatly appreciated by the audience.

Playing one of the possible fathers, Sam, is Sara's husband Richard Standing, who you'll recognise from several TV roles including Coronation Street. And guess what he has a better singing voice than Pearce Brosnan, who played the part in the film.

Playing the other prospective fathers were Tim Walton (Harry) and Christopher Hollis (Bill).

Donna's best friends, Rosie and Tanya are played brilliantly by Jacqueline Braun and Emma Clifford respectively. Jacqueline reminds me a bit of Dawn French with her great sense of fun she pours into Rosie's character and I loved the aloofness of Tanya, as well as the wonderful scene where she is putting down her young admirer, Pepper (Louis Stockil), who got to show off some pretty impressive dance moves.

Lucy May Barker (Sophie) had a lovely excitable air of innocence as she approached her big day with Sky, played by Phillip Ryan, her hunky groom to be, and a lovely sweet voice Lucy has. Her two bridesmaids were played by Micha Richardson (Ali) and Blaise Colangelo (Lisa). Sky's friends were played by Louis Stockil (Pepper) and Sam Robinson (Eddie).

A big ensemble cast who danced their socks off, and a real treat for the ladies as there was quite a bit of male flesh on show.

A fairly simple set which was rapidly added to with props by the ensemble who just as smoothly removed them and changed the set round. Well managed by the stage management crew.

Brilliant, vibrant lighting and, despite a slight technical hiccup with the sound, a very clear sound mix and design.

Wonderful 70's glam costumes,as only to be expected, and some wonderfully enthusiastic choreography, which left me breathless just watching them.A large production team who pulled everything together to bring a brilliantly fun, feel good show to chase away the rainy evening.

Everyone knows the songs and there are many in here spanning the many eras of Abba but I must admit my favourites were "The Winner Takes It All" because of the passion Sara sung with and "Slipping Through My Fingers". A lovely poignant version again sung by Sara as she was getting Sophie ready for the wedding and remembering how her daughter has grown from being her child to a grown woman. Something every parent can relate to as their child grows up, often far faster than we'd like.

"Mamma Mia" is at the Nottingham Royal Concert Hall until Saturday 25 June 2016, so there's no excuse to not see this heart-warming musical.

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