What a perfect time for a smash hit show to arrive in Sunderland. Mamma Mia screams summer holidays and the soundtrack is one that many generations will have heard, young and old.
If you’ve seen the film then you’ll know exactly what to expect, but for those of you that haven’t: Don’t worry.
The stage show has been running for 22 years since it’s preview in London and has been shown in over 16 different languages. It is the 8th longest running show in Broadway history and is now here on stage in Sunderland.
The show tells the funny heart-warming story of a mother and her daughter trying to find her father out of three possible suspects. The story is set on the Greek islands and has the famous ABBA soundtrack to help you along the way. Not many people may realise but the show came before the award winning hit movies.
Now, just because you have seen the movie, don’t assume the musical is the same. The musical was before the film and the original Mamma Mia. Created and produced by Judy Craymer, it features the same songs as the movie but the show is not the same and music and lyrics by Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus.
Sara Poyzer who plays the main actress Donna Sheridan acts like the glue to all the other groups of characters but her fun side comes out when her old friends visit for a wedding and reunite the BAND. The Threesome of Donna, Rosie (played by Nicky Swift) and Tanya (played by Helen Anker) get back together again and for one night only the bring the Dynamo trio back together for her daughters hen night. Nicky and Helen bring so much laughter to the musical and show that you can still be fun at any age. Both showed so much experience on stage and the comedy acting came so easy for them to get the crowd going.
The other trio on stage were of course the main men. One of three of these are suspected to be Sophie’s dad. All three of them very different with a whole different set of skills and energy they bring to the stage. Sam Carmichael the first of the potential fathers is played by Richard Standing and is a successful straight forward talking man who Donna fell in love with on the island before he left to return to the UK and marry his wife. The second suspected father is Harry Bright (played by Daniel Crowder) now married – to a man- returns back for the wedding and is now another successful man in banking who at first takes himself very seriously. Third is Bill Austin (played by Phil Corbitt). Bill is a Geordie Indiana jones man, or so he likes to think he is. Who can take it or leave it with regards to be a parent or Sophie’s dad but sets sparks with another during the musical. Donna reunites with them all after finding out Sophie’s secret invite on a mission to find her dad. She reminisces with them along the scenes but secretly still have love for her first, Sam.
Sophie (played by Jena Pandya) is amongst the few young people on the small island dreaming of a bigger life on the mainland and caught up in a love story marrying her first love at the young age of 21. Her mission is to find her father before she marries her beau Sky (played by Toby Miles).
Sky and his group of lads bring lots of energy to the show including some funny scenes and of course some great summer bodies to look at. It takes you back to those summer holidays you had abroad with you’re friends when you first turned 18. Added with the soundtrack of ABBA it really is a fun nostalgia.
It was a packed out show so be sure to get you’re tickets while you can. This musical is one of these that you can go back and back again to see. Even the ladies in the toilets had seen it 3 times!