MAMMA MIA: Music and Lyrics Benny Andersson Bjorn Ulvaeus, Book Catherine Johnson
Four Stars ****
Birmingham Hippodrome and Tour
Runs: 2h 40m, one interval
Tickets (Hippodrome): 0844 338 5000
At the Hippodrome to 03 September 2016
Touring well into 2017
Info at: www.mamma-mia.com/uk-tour/
Review: Alexander Ray Edser, 29 June 2016
It will make you feel so much better
It’s now out on tour. This irrepressibly feel-good show has taken to the road in the UK for the first time, and, at this performance marked its 100th tour performance. An achievement, but then the show’s been running in London since 1999, and also clocking up performances across the world.
Most of the songs are well known to us, and certainly to the audiences. The songs long lives are due to the infectious up-beat rhythms, but more than this, in their no-nonsense way they truly have something to say about our lives. The context of the stage musical enhances this aspect to great effect.
Catherine Johnson’s book is clever, too; she has created a story, however unlikely, that holds your interest and has you wondering how it will end. It all ends happily of course, though I do feel one tiny adjustment should be made to more reflect our times. In true comedic fashion there are a host of pairings at the end, though banker Harry only speaks of his partner; the partner should be brought on so he can share in the paired fun rather than being left out. Get with the times Mamma Mia.
Excellent singing and dancing. Sara Poyzer is a splendid mum, Donna, rising to the challenge of the big second half ballad, WINNER TAKES ALL giving us a big emotional fix. Lucy May Barker is a warm, down to earth Sophie, totally engaging with her direct, unfussy singing style. Big show stopper end to the first half, GIMME, GIMME, GIMME (A MAN AFTER MIDNIGHT), which is intercut with the dramatic conversations between Sophie and her three might-be fathers.
Get your summer glad-rags on and give yourself a treat.
Sophie Sheridan: Lucy May Barker
Ali: Micha Richardson
Lisa: Blaise Colangelo
Tanya: Emma Clifford
Rosie: Jacqueline Braun
Donna Sheridan: Sara Poyzer
Sky: Phillip Ryan
Pepper: Louis Stockil
Eddie: Sam Robinson
Harry Bright: Tim Walton
Bill Austin: Christopher Hollis
Sam Carmichael: Richard Standing
Father Alexander: Matthew Ronchetti
Directed by: Phyllida Lloyd
Choreography: Anthony Van Laast
Production Design: Mark Thompson
Lighting: Howard Harrison
Sound: Andrew Bruce, Bobby Aitken