Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Mamma Mia

Mamma Mia opened in the Grand Canal Theatre last night to a mostly full house.  I had seen it before in The Point before it was renovated but this was a much better, sharper, funnier production, even though it was essentially identical.
Money Money Money! Photos by Brinkhoff, Mögenburg  

I came prepared to sing along and was wearing my red 13cm high platform shoes.  It took the audience about 20 minutes to warm up and start singing.  ABBA's disco numbers like Super Trouper, Voulez-Vous, Gimme Gimme Gimme and Does your mother know that you're out? were the biggest crowd pleasers.  It's lovely to hear even little kids singing along to the enduringly popular ABBA hits.  And of course they get out some classic ABBA costumery.
Super Trouper
The cast features some phenomenal singers including Sara Poyzer in the lead role of Donna and Charlotte Wakefield as her daughter Sophie.  Much of the comedy is provided by Donna's two friends and their interaction with the various men.  At times it's surprisingly raunchy for a family show but it's all done with gestures that would go over most kids' heads.  I have to give special mention to the revolving set, which I loved.  They can't recreate the beautiful sunlight of the real Greece but they do a good job with lighting.  There's a great disco reprisal of Dancing Queen and an encore of Waterloo, which Benny & Bjorn obviously couldn't fit into the "one woman, her daughter, 3 dads and a wedding on a Greek island" storyline. 

When Mamma Mia first came out, a friend suggested we see it and I dismissed it as likely to be massively contrived and silly.  10 years on, I've seen it twice and would happily see it again and again.  It's much more conventional than a lot of (dare I say it!) the pretentious stuff going on in the theatre festival but it's certainly very enjoyable.

Mamma Mia runs until 15th October at the Grand Canal Theatre.  Parking is an issue there, so you're best to go by public transport.

1 comment:

  1. The making is designed by Mark Thompson, with lighting intend by Howard Harrison, sound intend by Andrew Bruce and Bobby Aitken.

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