Liverpool Echo Arena
June 3 – June 20 (then touring until November)
Author: Catherine Johnson
Director: Phyllida Lloyd
Cast Includes: Jackie Clune, Gary Watson, Miria Parvin, Cameron Blakely, Leanne Rogers, Drew Campbell, Matthew Cammelle, Kate Graham, Charles Daish, Steven Oliver.
Running Time: 2hrs 40 mins
Bright, loud, bouncy and colourful, Mamma Mia could so easily be everything you might dread but instead is everything you might hope for and a whole lot more besides. Filled with fantastic energy, the cast, led by the tremendous Jackie Clune as Donna Sheridan, cram every moment with so much joy even the cheesiest moments become palatable enough to devour in large chunks.
Alongside Clune, Miria Parvin as Sophie and Gary Watson as Sky bounce off each other as though they really are about to get married and turn in two fine performances, whereas Matthew Cammelle, Charles Daish and especially Cameron Blakely, whose voice develops a new richness during SOS, are all superb as the fathers – to –the – bride. Kate Graham’s Tanya and Steven Oliver’s Pepper provide some spectacularly saucy highlights during Does Your Mother Know, but the show stealer overall is Leanne Rogers whose cheeky, quirky Rosie is a delight from the moment she first hits the stage and reaches new heights during Take A Chance On Me towards the end.
So often shows based on the songs of successful bands fall short by shoe horning the hits in around a flimsy story whereas here they are cleverly chosen to suit the mood. Underlining this are Slipping Through My Fingers and The Winner Takes It All, which barely leave a dry eye in the packed house, thanks to Clune’s poignant delivery.
Forget the film, watch the show and soak up the atmosphere because this is more than simply a feel good event, Mamma Mia is a feel good experience and ten minutes in it’s easy to see why it’s become the phenomenon it has and why so many people revere its presence.
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