Abba fans won't be able to resist this poptastic musical smash hit
Judy Craymer's bold idea of turning the insanely catchy songs of ABBA into a musical has paid off splendidly, in every sense – box office figures for 'Mamma Mia!' are as eye-watering as its outfits.
This is largely because Catherine Johnson had the sense to weave the 1970s into her script, and director Phyllida Lloyd to cast accordingly. Heroine Donna Sheridan lived the free love dream (if only because her boyfriend ran out on her), wound up pregnant and survived to see her daughter, Sophie, reject all her principles in favour of a white wedding and the kind of certainty that comes from knowing which of your mother's three consecutive lovers ought to be walking you down the aisle. If you wanted to, you could see this as a conversation about feminism. But you'll look pretty silly debating patriarchal oppression while on your feet clapping to 'Dancing Queen'.
Some of the songs are oddly static, but when the choreography does get going – for instance, when Donna's friend Tanya stylishly quashes a libidinous local puppy in 'Does Your Mother Know?' – it's terrific, and makes great use of props: I wonder if the producers can assure us that no electric drills or hairdryers were harmed in the making of this musical?
The current cast appear to have been chosen more for their singing voices than their serious acting ability. But who needs dramatic conviction when you have purest pop to do the convincing for you? Given the songs, a story just about solid enough to stay upright on its platform heels, and a Greek island setting perfect for a whimsy of this sort, it's impossible not to fall for 'Mamma Mia!'s twinkling charms.
BY: NINA CAPLAN
This review is from 2012. The London cast of 'Mamma Mia!' now includes Georgia Louise (as Sophie Sheridan), Charlotte O'Rourke (as Ali), Leah St Luce (as Lisa), Kate Graham (as Tanya), Ricky Butt (as Rosie), Sara Poyzer (as Donna Sheridan), Alec Porter (as Sky), Damian Buhagiar (as Pepper), Eamonn Cox (as Eddie), Neil Moors (as Harry Bright), Stephen Beckett (as Bill Austin) and Richard Trinder (as Sam Carmichael).
How to get cheap tickets: Unlike most West End shows, 'Mamma Mia!' doesn't have a day seat policy. Cheap seats may be offered on an ad hoc basis. But you can get your hands on discounted Early Bird tickets by booking at least four months before the performance, through the Delfont Mackintosh website.
|Venue name:||Novello Theatre|
|Transport:||Rail/Tube: Charing Cross; Tube: Covent Garden/Holborn|
Average User Rating
3.9 / 5
- 5 star:11
- 4 star:6
- 3 star:6
- 2 star:3
- 1 star:1
I disappointed... Several years I dreamed to see this show. I love music of ABBA very much. The show was stupid, actors are playing like in school theater, orchestra performance - wow, ABBA in 80's did it much better! Add to this poor acoustic (or just bad voice engineer)... I already was on "Lion King" and "We will rock you" - both were great! Don't waste your time (and money), see the movie instead.
Fantastic! One of the best shows I have ever seen. Despite watching the film over and over again and listening to ABBA almost everyday, it never gets old. It is family friendly and very funny. You will definitely find yourself dancing and singing along. Perfect for the whole family or a girly night out. Followed by drinks!
Considering the amount you pay for a ticket, you'd expect an outstanding performance for this West End musical. But sadly, the show lacked direction and looked as though it had been thrown together a week before the performance.
The cast sang well but that didn't matter when all you could focus on was how they kept walking back and forth searching for something to do.
I was bitterly disappointed and expected a whole lot more.
September 2015 cast are awesome. I saw this in 2014 and it felt a little tired but the latest cast are superb and all seemed to be having a ball up there on the stage. After the show I booked a holiday to Greece... it's that amazing!
Loved this show! High energy - tons of dancing - and of course, can't help but love the music! The main characters were fantastic - loved every single one of them! Funny, quirky and fun sums this experience up for me. I left there acting like a "Dancing Queen" myself lol. Suffice to say it is a must see.
Musics of course are great but what else? I had the impression that the show relies completely on the ABBA songs. The scenography is very poor with the same 2 white walls spinned in 3 different positions. Lot turist groups confusing the show with a concert or a disco.
Amazing amazing show! really kept up to the band and did justice to its amazing music! fantastic acting too!
AMAZING! Funny, happy brilliant feel good show. Would definately recommend. Even though we sat in the balcony it was still a great view and brilliant atmosphere.
Despite the expense of the tickets, this is a must-see show of any fans of ABBA. The singing was amazing and the show was both fast-paced and peppered with comedy. Go see it!
Best show I have ever been to, so good, all our party really enjoyed it, would see time and time again
Great performance and entertaining evening. I have been to the show many years back at other venue in London but this one is so far the best.....
I dont agree with comment above. This show is much better than movie. Great performance and very good singers :)
my belarussian girlfriend and i and my 6 year old came from ireland mainly to see this and we thought it was great. watched it from the third tier, tickets bought on lastminute.com at an ok price. a feel good show with great singing and the odd laugh. good scene with the chest bearing boys doing there stuff. sophie was faultless, songs which my daughter knew cos she saw the movie about 10 times. all over a fantastic night
Just clarify when I gave only 1 star. I've seen Mamma Mia in LA, NY, and London before. And I loved the musical a lot. However, when I took my friend to see it on 1 March, 2013, it was a total disappointment. I guess now this musical is a permanent tourist attraction, so the theatre has become complacent and decided to do it on the cheap to maximize profit instead of focusing on quality. The cast on that night could barely sing and act. The lead actress, the mother, lost her voice 90% of the time. The three fathers appeared to amateur actors/singers. Only the daughter was maintaining a respectable standard. Fir the price they are charging the non-tourist group patrons, it was a total disaster and rip-off. Better go somewhere else for this musical. To make it worse, the security guards treated the patrons like cattle, Be prepared.
Snap up exclusive discounts in London
Time Out's handpicked deals — hurry, they won't be around for long...