Here's what to expect from 'MAMMA MIA! The Musical' at Princess Theatre


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MAMMA MIA! The Musical premiered internationally in 1999 and quickly became a cultural phenomenon. Melbourne’s premiere of MAMMA MIA! The Musical would be no less of an epic production leaving crowds wanting more.
The atmosphere of the theatre was electric, a medley of classic ABBA songs echoed as the audience found their seats, while decorative lighting flashed over the space creating a festive ambience. The orchestra, overflowing with talent, managed to play anthems such as ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Mamma Mia’ before the show had even started.
MAMMA MIA! The Musical is the classic tale of a complicated mother-daughter relationship. Perched on a Greek island is single mother Donna’s hotel – where she lives and works with locals and her only daughter Sophie. Sophie is days away from her wedding and decides she’d like her dad to be there. Unfortunately, she’s not sure who her biological father is. After digging through her mother’s diaries to find clues as to who her potential dad could be, Sophie comes across three potential candidates and invites them all to the wedding. What could possibly go wrong?
The stage was small and intimate but housed the elaborate moving set that was placed around the theatre. The changing of the set became a part of the story, as characters leapt from the audience to feature onstage. Flower-covered roofs and sky blue balconies were the main pieces used to transport the audience to sunny Greece. The set was simplistic but enough to feel as though you were in a tropical location.
The real crowd-pleaser was the musical number ‘Does Your Mother Know?’ which featured actors Jade Westaby (Tanya) and Sam Hooper (Pepper). A flirtatious song with a mischievous theme, it had audience members’ tongues wagging. Westaby and Hooper so perfectly portrayed the forbidden relationship that left audiences leaping to their feet to applaud.
The show’s overall choreography was slick and mesmerising to watch, the singing mirrored this with the casts’ wide range of skills. They were bursting with talent and displayed the pure fun and magic that ABBA songs are famous for. Costumes were modest and plain, but this suited the overall theme as it didn’t take away from the fabulous routines. Leads Natalie O’Donnell (Donna) and Sarah Morrison (Sophie), were the perfect mother-daughter duo, both believable and charming to watch.
As soon as the production ended, the audience erupted into a roaring applause, followed by a standing ovation. Audiences were treated to an extra two songs that had everyone on their feet dancing along while confetti canons exploded around the theatre.
With rainbow confetti now surrounding The Princess Theatre, MAMMA MIA! The Musical leaves you with a buzz that will have you singing ‘Waterloo’ and ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’ for days.
It’s a production that’s very unlikely to be forgotten, and a musical that everyone can adore.