Mamma Mia! The Musical: Dancing queens dazzle

July 27, 2018

 

Mamma Mia! The Musical 

Rating: 5 / 5

 

It’s nearly 20 years since the Abba musical Mamma Mia! hit the international stage, and Australia welcomed this feel-good song and dance show in 2001.


So the time is ripe for revisiting it, and this latest production touring Australia is just as good as the original, and has lost none of its charm and zest.


In a world where bad news makes more headlines than good news, there is room for a musical that celebrates friendship, compassion, respect—and fun!


Single mum Donna has done a great job in bringing up daughter Sophie on a Greek island where she runs a taverna, and now her little girl is getting married. But Donna has always evaded the question of Sophie’s dad, so young Sophie decides to read her mum’s diary and invite all the likely candidates to her wedding, so that her dad can give her away.


So the scene is set for drama, mishaps and lots of humour, as well as a host of well-known Abba songs.


If a musical has you constantly smiling, tapping your feet and feeling happy, it has a lot going for it, and Mamma Mia! achieves this in spades. There is no baddie in this musical, just good-hearted people who want the best out of life for everyone.


Getting this simple idea to work needs great casting, and director Gary Young gets it just right. There’s a neat twist that Natalie O’Donnell is playing mum Donna, having starred in the same show in 2001 as the juvenile lead Sophie, and it’s a great performance.


As ingénue Sophie, Sarah Morrison is a delight, her love interest Sky (Stephen Mahy) is a pleasure to watch and Donna’s feisty girlfriends, Alicia Gardiner (Rosie) and Jayde Westaby (Tanya) are great fun.


The trio of possible dads, Ian Stenlake (Sam), Phillip Lowe (Harry) and Josef Ber (Bill) are terrific, while the encore is quite simply a showstopper.

 

 +  Irresistible songs and dances and a feel-good show

 

 -  Mild sexual allusions

 

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Vol. 139, No. 14 // 11 April 2020

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