Even though 24 years have passed since the musical Mamma Mia! premiered in London, its latest UK and international live tour still captures the same enchanting atmosphere in Cardiff as it did in 1999. It’s no surprise that this Abba-derived musical is the sixth longest-running show in West End history – the production is a joyous, humorous, and exhilarating experience that transports the audience into a world of fun. The entire show feels like a grand celebration.
In act one, the production portrays the events leading up to the wedding day through songs such as Lay All Your Love On Me, with its energetic scuba diving men, and Super Trouper, capturing the essence of a memorable night out with the girls, the cast dressed in classic Mamma Mia! blue hues. The performance was so captivating and immersive, I lost track of my surroundings – feeling as though I had been transported to Greece rather than remaining in Cardiff…
The show’s second act depicts the wedding ceremony, kicking it off with Under Attack, which features Sophie (played by Jess Michelmore) in a neon scuba driver-inspired dream sequence. The latter part of the act is emotionally poignant, especially the moving rendition of Slipping Through My Fingers, while also providing lighthearted moments with Does Your Mother Know. The wedding is a delightful and romantic affair, with the entire ensemble adorned in red and pink from head to toe.
The casting of Donna And The Dynamos is spot-on, particularly Sarah Poyzer – whose standout performance as Donna showcased her incredible vocal abilities, The Winner Takes It All highlighting an impressive range. Other cast members are certainly worth mentioning: Pepper (Jaden Oshenye), who energetically danced like Tigger in every performance, and Sam (Richard Standing), whose emotive and rich vocal abilities are particularly noteworthy.
Mamma Mia! features exceptional choreography, particularly in standout moments like Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! and Voulez-Vous; its set is minimalist but cleverly designed, with the ability to transform and create various scenarios. The entire performance transported me to the summertime: it was a surprise to leave the theatre and return to rainy Cardiff.
Mamma Mia!, New Theatre, Cardiff, Wed 15 Feb
On until Sat 4 Mar. Tickets: £18-£65. Info: here
words AMY WILD
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