SECC, Glasgow, until Sat 27 Apr
This article is from 2008.
Truly global phenomena are becoming something of a cliché: there’s a McDonald’s on every street corner, a Nestlé product in every home, and a production of Mamma Mia! running in every country in the world, simultaneously. Probably.
The jukebox musical, which keeps relentlessly adding to the more than 30 million viewers it has acquired since its first production back in 1999, recounts the now familiar story of Sophie Sheridan’s (Haley Flaherty) quest to identify her father, one of her mother Donna’s (Carolanne Weidle) three lovers from a holiday in Greece 20 years before.
Pounding the senses with the concussive force of a glittering platform to the chest, there’s every reason to wonder why Abba were ever out of vogue. Mark Thompson’s simple swivelling, white-washed set lets the music take centre stage, as a typically slick production is capped by impressively complementary vocals from the female leads. The oestrogen-fuelled comedy by no means establishes a male exclusion zone, and with comical choreography, from the Dick Van Dyke flipper dance to the luminous Pet Shop Boys-style swimmers, there’s plenty worth consuming. Its eagerness to cram in a few too many songs might be to its detriment, but with a film version coming later this year it seems impossible to argue with the Swedish pop experience.