THEATRE: MAMMA MIA!


It's a running joke in my family that, whenever I visit my mum, we end up watching the film version of Mamma Mia! on the TV, so when I heard that the stage show was coming to Aberdeen, I knew that I wanted to take her along.

As luck would have it, opening week coincided perfectly with one of Mum's visits and Aberdeen Performing Arts very kindly offered me two review tickets. It was clearly meant to be!

I wasn't actually sure which came first - the stage show or the film - but a quick internet search tells me that the film was released in 2008 while the stage show has been on the go since 1999. 1999! It's practically old enough to be planning a big white wedding and inviting the three people it suspects could be its dad. In 1999, I was Sophie's age; I've just had the unsettling realisation that these days my peers are Donna, The Dynamos and Sophie's three potential fathers. That's how long this show has been on the go - isn't that incredible?

Anyway, on Wednesday night, Mum and I headed to His Majesty's Theatre to find out what all the fuss was about. And, long story short: we LOVED it.

Short story long: scroll down.


If you've seen the film, you'll know more or less what to expect: a fairly ludicrous but extremely feelgood plot told through comic dialogue, energetic dancing and an awful, awful lot of ABBA songs. Steve watched it out of grudging politeness the first time, but it's so infectiously fun that even he has a soft spot for it now.

Knowing the film pretty well these days, I did find the first ten minutes or so of the stage show a little disconcerting - that's not what the characters look like; those aren't their accents; they're even singing differently (and who knew that was possible?!) - but I was surprised by how quickly I accepted the unfamiliar faces; I think that says a lot about how well all of the actors embodied their roles.

What really struck me about the performance, though, was how much FUN they all made it look. I am under no illusions that singing and dancing and performing acrobatics - and the young men's dances really were acrobatic - for two hours a night can be easy, but every single person on that stage looked as though they were loving every minute. In particular, I'm amazed Donna (Helen Hobson) and The Dynamos (Emma Clifford and Gillian Hardie) made it through the show without collapsing onto the stage in fits of giggles.

The audience was loving it, too - almost every routine was followed by a round of applause and most of the theatre was on its feet, clapping and cheering, throughout the last three songs. MAMMA MIA! is ridiculously silly but, my goodness, what a brilliant way to spend an evening. I'd go back and watch it all over again tomorrow.


MAMMA MIA! is in Aberdeen until 14th October, but you'll have to be quick if you want tickets (and, yes, you DO want tickets) - a quick check of the booking site tells me that almost every performance is already packed (and rightly so). For those of you further afield, the rest of the tour dates and locations are here.

(Now, how do I dislodge Waterloo from my head? It's been rattling around in there for days)

Post a Comment

Please play nice.