Mamma Mia!

Theatre, Musicals Novello Theatre , Covent Garden Until Saturday March 3 2018
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  • 4 out of 5 stars
(25user reviews)
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 (© Brinkhoff & Mögenburg)
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© Brinkhoff & Mögenburg

Amy Webb (Lisa), Sanne den Besten (Sophie) and Jemma Revell (Ali) in 'Mamma Mia!'

 (© Brinkhoff & Mögenburg)
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© Brinkhoff & Mögenburg

Dugald Bruce-Lockhart (Bill), Richard Trinder (Sam) and Alasdair Harvey (Harry) in 'Mamma Mia!'

 (© Brinkhoff & Mögenburg)
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© Brinkhoff & Mögenburg

Mazz Murray (Tanya), Linzi Hateley (Donna) and Jo Napthine (Rosie) in 'Mamma Mia!'

 (© Brinkhoff & Mögenburg)
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© Brinkhoff & Mögenburg

Filippo Coffano (Pepper) with the cast of 'Mamma Mia!'

 (© Brinkhoff & Mögenburg)
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© Brinkhoff & Mögenburg

The cast of 'Mamma Mia!'

 (© Brinkhoff & Mögenburg)
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© Brinkhoff & Mögenburg

The cast of 'Mamma Mia!'

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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 Linzi Hateley (Donna Sheridan), Mazz Murray (Tanya), Jo Napthine (Rosie), Sanne den Besten (Sophie Sheridan), Richard Carson (Sky), Richard Trinder (Sam), Alasdair Harvey (Harry), Dugald Bruce-Lockhart (Bill), Jemma Revell (Ali), Amy Webb (Lisa), Filippo Coffano (Pepper) and Jake Small (Eddie).

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.

Posted:

Venue name: Novello Theatre
Contact:
Address: Aldwych
London
WC2B 4LD
Transport: Tube: Covent Gdn/Holborn
Price: £15-£95. Runs 2hr 35min
Event website: http://www.mamma-mia.com
To improve this listing email: feedback@timeout.com

Average User Rating

3.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:11
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:6
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:1
LiveReviews|25
1 person listening
Avatar for Leon
1 of 1 found helpful

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.

Avatar for Chloe W
tastemaker

How much fun is Mamma Mia! My Mother is a huge fan of the film so I got her tickets for her birthday and the whole family loved it. The singing was spectacular, the atmosphere fun, and everyone was up on their feet and dancing along. 


If you're looking for an 'immersive' musical experience in London, look no further. A great evening out! 

Avatar for Gemma H
tastemaker

A guilty pleasure and a Christmas tradition with an old school friend is to go and see a musical or theatre production we can't persuade anybody else to go and see(!) Mamma Mia was the musical of choice this time around.


With pints of white wine in hand we found ourselves dancing in the aisles with everyone else. While I think the film is better, this musical is perfect for a fun night out.

Avatar for bailey1988
Tastemaker

Mamma Mia! What a show. If you're an Abba fan this one is for you. Great atmosphere, brilliant cast and unforgettable songs. It'll give you that feel good feeling.

Avatar for Ioanna La
Tastemaker

The poster states it clearly: Abba-solutely fabulous. When you've seen the movie, it's a bit hard to see anyone else but Meryl Streep as the mother and Pierce Brosnan as one of the fathers but I must say the actors did a great job to overcome this. The actress playing the mum was great, the daughter was lovely and had such a beautiful voice and of course mum's girl-friends were awesome too. The costumes were good, the choreographies were excellent, the music and the songs, well, amazing! Bonus singing and dancing performances at the end with the audience (including me of course) standing and dancing at 3 last songs! So much fun, so entertaining, definitely a night to remember and a musical worth watching in London's West End!!

Avatar for Laura T

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.

Avatar for Luisa G
Tastemaker

Good show but not amazing - pleased I saw it, but wouldn't see it again.

Avatar for Jorge A.
Staff Writer

Although I am not an ABBA fan I must say that the music is great. However, the story was not so interesting for me. I would only recommend it for those who like ABBA music and love stories.

Avatar for Kirsty E
Tastemaker

Mixed feelings on this one. The singing is very good, and true to the original cheesy pop style. The band were great and the atmosphere was fabulous. However, the acting was quite poor and the storyline was not very original and quite cliched. Would I recommend?... probably not, unless you are a true ABBA fan looking for a fun night out. Just don't go with too high expectations!  

Avatar for bowertron

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!

Avatar for Jerry C

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.

Avatar for Andrew T

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.

Avatar for Aishni Katariya

Amazing amazing show! really kept up to the band and did justice to its amazing music! fantastic acting too!

Avatar for Jade

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.

Avatar for Phil Holland

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!

Avatar for Sue

Best show I have ever been to, so good, all our party really enjoyed it, would see time and time again

Avatar for Azizi

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.....

Avatar for Wendy

Both my daughter and I loved the show. Great seats in the dress circle.

Avatar for miha

I dont agree with comment above. This show is much better than movie. Great performance and very good singers :)

Avatar for vera stein

The performance was somewhat boring. Too much talk and not enough dancing. The film is much better.

Avatar for brian

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

Avatar for KevinM

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.