Here We Go Again: Jayde Westaby from “Mamma Mia”


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MAMMA MIA! Here we go again! My, my … Aus­tralia loves you! The ex­tra­or­di­nary “Mamma Mia! The Mu­si­cal” is cur­rently play­ing to sell­out crowds in Syd­ney.

Based on the movie of the same name, “Mamma Mia!” tells the story of So­phie, a young bride-to-be, who on the eve of her wed­ding goes on a quest to dis­cover the iden­tity of her fa­ther. It brings three men from her mother Donna’s past back to the Greek is­land they last vis­ited 20 years ago. This feel-good mu­si­cal comes alive through ABBA’S time­less songs.

Play­ing the role of Tanya, one of Donna’s best friends, is Jayde Westaby. Jayde, orig­i­nally from the UK, has per­formed in “The Rocky Hor­ror Show”, “Chicago”, “Sweet Char­ity”, “Jer­sey Boys” and “Grease” in the West End. She also re­cently starred in the Aus­tralian pre­miere of “Dream Lover–the Bobby Darin Mu­si­cal”. We speak to her about her role in “Mamma Mia!” and all things ABBA.

Tell us about your role as Tanya in “Mamma Mia!”. Tanya is a fab­u­lous woman who loves the finer things in life and shows it through an in­cred­i­ble wardrobe! There is noth­ing she loves more than be­ing with her two best friends where she can be her true self and rem­i­nisce.

Grow­ing up were you much of an ABBA fan? No I wasn’t a huge fan grow­ing up, but very quickly fell in love with their mu­sic and lyrics. It’s hard not too!

What’s your favourite ABBA song to per­form in “Mamma Mia!”? I LOVE per­form­ing “Does Your Mother Know”. It’s a fan­tas­tic num­ber full of danc­ing, en­ergy, tricks and fun! I’m very lucky I get to per­form it ev­ery show.

Do you have a favourite scene or mo­ment in the show? I love watch­ing our lead­ing lady Natalie O’don­nell per­form “Slip­ping Through My Fin­gers”, it kills me ev­ery time. But my favourite scene is the bed­room scene where we sing “Chiq­ui­tita” and “Danc­ing Queen” with my other two dy­namos. We have so much fun to­gether and it’s a re­ally great mo­ment full of chem­istry and friend­ship.

You’ve worked both here and in the UK. Have you no­ticed any dif­fer­ences in the au­di­ence be­tween the two coun­tries? Not huge dif­fer­ences re­ally. Peo­ple love theatre and the es­capism it brings. Es­pe­cially with a show like “Mamma Mia!”, au­di­ences play such a huge part and we love to take them on this in­cred­i­ble ad­ven­ture and en­cour­age them to party with us at the end! Au­di­ences are lov­ing it and that makes us so happy.

You’ve had such a di­verse ca­reer with many var­ied roles. Is there a dream role that you have yet to play? Thank you, I feel very lucky to have played so many dif­fer­ent char­ac­ters in very dif­fer­ent shows. There are many roles I haven’t played yet and I don’t want to name them and jinx my­self!

“Mamma Mia!! The Mu­si­cal” is now play­ing at the Capi­tol Theatre. mam­mamiath­e­mu­si­

Photo: Peter Brew-be­van.

Jayde Westaby, Natalie O’don­nell and Ali­cia Gar­diner.

Jayde Westaby.

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