1 March – 5 March 2022
Here we go again, you know when Mamma Mia returns on tour that theatre is well and truly back in business. This high energy, light-hearted musical is the much-needed perfect antidote to the lack of live entertainment of the past couple of years, and proves that theatre is back with a bang.
It’s most enjoyable and comforting feelings are evoked from the multitude of legendary hand-crafted ABBA songs, recognisable to everyone in the audience, who sung along and clapped all evening, well and truly getting their money, money, money’s worth.
Every aspect of this timeless show is designed to bring joy, from the colourful vibrant costumes, to the whirling choreography, tongue-in-cheek script and saucy stage direction, there is no escaping the smiles across the stage from the performers and the onlookers in the auditorium.
Of course, to have a show run for almost 23 years and counting, and still be such a huge success, you have to have all of the key ingredients mixed with world class performers, who fit the parts perfectly and hit the notes of songs written by an act of such iconic status, and that is certainly what was on display tonight.
Although this classic story is of course mildly silly, it is very much self-aware of this, and knows exactly when to make the audience laugh, and when to slow things down for a more emotional segment with powerful numbers, such as Our Last Summer and I have a Dream.
The rotating set was seemingly simple but very effective, combining a whitewashed and blue house, trademark in Greek Cyclades, with a bright azure backdrop reflecting the Mediterranean Sea, all adding to the vibrant holiday-esk colour palette used across the show to make the audience feel good.
Having seen both the films but being a first-timer to the stage show, I was so pleased with the experience of seeing this musical live. It blows the motion picture out of the water and rightly so. Hearing the music live, seeing the flurry of costumes dance across the stage and being part of an audience having a spectacular shared experience is something truly special.
Mamma Mia plays at The Congress Theatre, Eastbourne until Saturday 5 March as part of a nationwide tour. For more information visit mamma-mia.com.
Reviewer: Stephen Sheldrake