REVIEW: MAMMA MIA! (Novello Theatre) ★★★★★
Mamma Mia! – the hit jukebox musical, based on the songs of Abba, has been delighting audiences in London’s West End for twenty years! But unlike many long running shows, the new cast (who started performances last week) breathe new life into the show and make it the strongest production I’ve ever seen of the show.
Mazz Murray (who won the West End Wilma Award for ‘Best Actress In A Musical’ in 2016 for her role of Tanya in Mamma Mia!) returns to the London production, this time to take on the lead role of Donna. Mazz is one of the greatest comedy performers the theatre industry has, as well as a phonominal singer. She brings new levels of humour to the role, whilst also hitting the heart strings in emotional scenes. During ‘Slipping Through My Fingers’ three women sitting in front of me (who looked to span three generations), grabbed on to each others hands, fighting back tears but by the time Mazz launched in to ‘The Winner Takes It All’ there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. I’ve never seen people get so emotional whilst watching Mamma Mia! which goes to show the strength of this new cast.
Lucy May Barker also brings a huge amount of comedy to the role of Sophie and sings the part better than I have ever seen anyone do in the role. Abba songs are notoriously difficult to sing but Lucy sails through each song, knocking them out of the park with incredibly strong vocals.
Kirsty Hoiles as Tanya does a great job and her performance of ‘Does Your Mother Know’ (my personal favourite in the show) did not disappoint and Ricky Butt oozes comedic genius as Rosie.
Neil Moors, Stephen Beckett and Richard Trinder are great as Sophie’s three possible fathers Harry, Bill and Sam and the young ensemble cast dance for their lives, looking like they can’t believe they get paid to have so much fun on stage.
Mamma Mia! feels fresh and new and better than it has ever been. You may even see a bit of the floss dance, showing they aren’t afraid to keep it current!
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Photo: Brinkhoff & Mogenburg
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