ABBA MUSICAL TAKES IT ALL
WHEN Judy Craymer conceived Mamma Mia! the Musical (it premiered in London in 1999) she showed just how an artist’s discography should be woven together to create a cohesive storyline.
More recent examples of this musical format have demonstrated it may not be as successful or as easy as she made it look, which makes the ABBA-inspired show all the more admirable.
The new Australian production, which opens at Crown Theatre Perth on May 15 as part of a national tour, continues the history of the show’s epic international success and delivers a night of much-loved music at the theatre, which this reviewer experienced on a recent trip during the Sydney season.
The set, with its white walls and blue window shutters, immediately transports you to the Greek islands, while a medley of those familiar ABBA tunes get the toes tapping and the head bopping.
Sophie (Sarah Morrison) opens the show, skilful in singing I Have A Dream before her bridesmaids arrive and the audience is witness to the premise of the story during Honey, Honey, presented with youthful enthusiasm.
Sophie, raised by her single mum Donna (Natalie O’Donnell), has never known who her father is and, unbeknownst to her mother, has invited the three possible suspects to her wedding with fiance Sky (Stephen Mahy).
The arrival of Donna’s friends (in a previous lifetime part of Donna and the Dynamos) Tanya (Jayde Westaby) and Rosie (Alicia Gardiner) is only the beginning of this hilarious team, whose comic timing and one-liners throughout the show are to be applauded – and they are.
In fact, the entire cast looks like they are enjoying themselves on stage as much as their audience is entertained watching them.
The trio of prospective dads soon arrive, with suave Sam (Ian Stenlake), lovable but geeky Harry (Phillip Lowe) and adventurous carefree globetrotter Bill (Josef Ber) and the marvellous mayhem begins.
The cast is flawless performing
The cast of Mamma Mia! - Alicia Gardiner, Phillip Lowe, Jayde Westaby, Ian Stenlake, Natalie O’Donnell, Stephen Mahy, Sarah Morrison and Josef Ber.