Last night I saw Mamma Mia, the smash hit musical, at Bristol Hippodrome. This is a musical that I’ve been longing to see. I love Abba and I’m often found cranking up their tunes in my kitchen and dancing around using a wooden spoon as a microphone, their music never fails to lift my spirits. Mamma Mia is a show that does exactly that, it’s full of laughs, moments that we can all relate too, and of course platform boots, lycra and Abba!
Mamma Mia is set on a fictitious Greek Island where Donna Sheridan runs a hotel and taverna. It’s days before her daughter Sophie’s wedding to local heartthrob Sky. Sophie has always wanted to know who her father is and having read her Mother’s diary she’s narrowed it down to three potential men. The show opens with her inviting all three to the wedding, in hopes that she will know her Dad as soon as she sees him.
Naturally things don’t run entirely smoothly as she hasn’t told her Mum about invited her old flames, and plans to surprise her at the wedding! Plus it turns out it’s not actually that easy to spot your Dad in a crowd of three.
Mamma Mia has plenty of fantastic characters including some brilliant parts for older women, such a rarity on the stage and a total pleasure to see. It was wonderful to watch Sara Poyzer, playing Donna Sheridan, and absolutely rocking it. I also loved Jacqueline Braun and Emma Clifford in the roles of her best friends and supporters Rosie and Tanya. These women are all great physical performers, and they can absolutely belt out a tune. I particularly enjoyed the beach bar scene where Tanya rebuffs Pepper (Louis Stockil) with ‘Does Your Mother Know’ and some perfectly sassy choreography.
It’s really hard to pick out particular cast members to mention because the whole cast is really strong and work together as an ensemble brilliantly. Lucy May Barker is fantastic as Sophie Sheridan. The potential Father’s, Richard Standing as Sam Carmichael, Tim Walton as Harry Bright and Christopher Hollis as Bill Austin are all perfect in their parts.
Benny and Bjorn’s lyrics are insightful and relatable and despite not being specifically written for the show they carry the story really well.
Mamma Mia is a amazing night out, with tears, laughter and joy all thrown into the mix. It’s running at Bristol Hippodrome until the seventh of May and you can book tickets here.
*Disclosure: I was provided with tickets to see Mamma Mia for the purposes of this review. This does not in any way affect my integrity.