Mamma Mia! (4 stars)

This article is from 2019

Mamma Mia!

credit: Brinkhoff.Moegenburg

The music of the past with a timeless message

Despite suffering from some of the jukebox musical's traditional challenges – songs that don't quite fit the narrative, and reworkings of familiar numbers through a limited musical palette – Mamma Mia achieves its intention of being an elegantly formed and dynamic feel-good work of entertainment. With an ensemble which throws itself enthusiastically into the spectacular routines, and a series of leads who bring appropriate melancholy and joy to the more reflective moments, the script makes the most of the simple plot to showcase both the talent of the performers and the versatility of ABBA's extensive songbook.

While 'Knowing Me, Knowing You' has been fixed as the theme for hopeless chat-show hosts through the Alan Partridge series, many of ABBA's tunes have survived their light disco origins to become either stomping classics or precise portraits of emotional introspection, and this balance of fun and thoughtfulness transforms the musical into an emotional journey. The more that the choreography embraces surrealism and camp, the more the production enthrals.

With Emma Mullen capturing the innocence and optimism of protagonist Sophie, and the scenography conjuring a suggestive Greek island paradise, the spirit of ABBA's repertoire is translated into a vision of life that accommodates hen-party wildness, karaoke comedy and nostalgia in a celebration of youthful pleasure, middle-aged regret and optimism, and the importance of a love that can conquer all.

Reviewed at Edinburgh Playhouse. Now touring the UK.

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Mamma Mia!

  • Directed by: Phyllida Lloyd
  • Written by: Catherine Johnson, Benny Andersson (music & lyrics), Bjorn Ulvaeus (music & lyrics)

The smash hit musical based on the songs of Abba continues to storm the UK. Since premiering in London this funny comedy has been seen by over 54 million people all around the world. Featuring songs including 'Dancing Queen', 'Super Trouper' and 'Take A Chance On Me'.

Bristol Hippodrome

Tue 2 Jun

£13–£74.50 / 0844 847 2325

Wed 3 Jun

£13–£74.50 / 0844 847 2325

Thu 4 Jun

£13–£74.50 / 0844 847 2325

…and 14 more dates until 20 Jun

His Majesty's Theatre, Aberdeen

Tue 22 Sep

£26.50–£66.50 (£40.50–£49.50) / 01224 641122

Wed 23 Sep

£26.50–£66.50 (£40.50–£49.50) / 01224 641122

Thu 24 Sep

£26.50–£66.50 (£40.50–£49.50) / 01224 641122

…and 8 more dates until 3 Oct

King's Theatre, Glasgow

Tue 7 Apr

£13–£70 / 0844 871 7648

Part of Glen's Guide.

Wed 8 Apr

£13–£70 / 0844 871 7648

Part of Glen's Guide.

Thu 9 Apr

£13–£70 / 0844 871 7648

Part of Glen's Guide.

…and 14 more dates until 25 Apr

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