The sensational feel-good musical returns to the Midlands...

The legendary show is of course a nicely contrived vehicle for the chart-topping music of 1970s Super Troupers Abba.

The Swedish Fab Four scored mega-hit after mega-hit with catchy numbers like Waterloo, Dancing Queen, The Name Of The Game, The Winner Takes It All and Take A Chance On Me - all of which are present and correct in this blockbuster offering.

Abba boys Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus were both involved in the development of the show, while Anni-Frid Lyngstad - she’s the dark one - contributed in a financial capacity.

A 2008 movie version received a thumbs up from many if not most of Mamma Mia!’s adoring fans - despite former James Bond star Pierce Brosnan having been given a Licence to Sing...

I’m a pretty happy person, but after watching the ultimate feel-good musical Mamma Mia, I was floating on air - it was ABBA-solutely fantastic!

Teeming with timeless hits, I danced along with the rest of the delighted audience, and with a cracking score, script and cast, who could blame me? Based on the classic ABBA songs by the genius songwriting team of Benny Anderson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, the tale begins with the upcoming wedding of Sophie Sheridan (Lucy May Barker) on an idyllic Greek island. Upon discovering her mother’s (Sara Poyzer) diary, she invites three of her former flames in an attempt to meet her long-lost father.

The exceptional weaving of the songs as a credible plot device by the show’s creator, Judy Craymer and playwright Catherine Johnson ensured the energetic cast and comedic pace never waned. My highlights included the three (underused) dads’ first meeting, Sophie’s hen night with Poyzer and her two friends (Emma Clifford and Jacqueline Braun) belting Super Trouper in ‘70s catsuits, and the exuberant Lay All Your Love On Me ensemble number. The choreography and costumes were marvellous too.

Barker’s Sophie was a feisty bride-to-be, and her search added a vulnerable depth to an all singing-dancing extravaganza! Her melodic voice brought a tender quality to I Have A Dream and The Name of the Game. But it was Poyzer’s steely single mother who dominated the show, and the character whom women the world over can relate to. This is the secret to Mamma Mia’ s success: lovable characters with complicated families and love lives like the rest of us.

Leading enjoyable hits like Money, Money, Money, The Winner Takes It All and the fabulous Mamma Mia, her voice was powerful, if a touch strident.

Go and watch immediately - grABBA ticket now! 

***** Malaka Chowdhury 

5 Stars on Thu, 30 Jun 2016


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