Mamma Mia! the Musical
Rating: ★★★★
Venue: Novello Theatre, London
Cast: Meg Hateley, Natasha Heyward, Olivia Lallo, Josie Benson, Gemma Goggin, Mazz Murray, Miles Henderson, Jake Bailey, Lucca Chadwick-Patel, Christopher Dickins, Stephen Beckett and Norman Bowman

Join the fun at MAMMA MIA!, the world's sunniest, most exhilarating smash-hit musical!  Fall in love with the irresistibly funny tale of a mother, a daughter and three possible dads on a Greek island idyll, all unfolding to the magic of ABBA's timeless songs. 

Mamma Mia! has been a West End favourite for over two decades now, but surprisingly, it's one I haven't seen before. In fact, I haven't even seen the film, so I had very little idea of what to expect. What was special about last night is that it was a relaxed performance of the show. Delfont Mackintosh had this to say about how the relaxed performance would be:

" Relaxed Performances provide a supportive theatre environment where audience members can express themselves as they wish, move around and exit and re-enter the auditorium freely. The aim is to provide an understanding and welcoming atmosphere for all, with additional trained staff and modifications to sound and lighting for those with sensory sensitivities."

Before I begin the review of the show, I want to first talk about how incredible they made the relaxed performance. There were countless staff all around the theatre, helping in any way that was needed. At seat service was offered throughout the theatre to make things as easy as possible. As well as this, there was a chill out area if the show become too overwhelming, and even a brief introduction at the beginning of the show to familiarise the audience with the characters and the back story.

Both the cast and staff were extremely knowledgeable and made me feel at ease at all times. The modifications to the lighting and sound was fantastic and helped the atmosphere to not feel overstimulating. All around, the environment was wonderful and I simply couldn't fault it.

You likely already know the story of Mamma Mia!, but if you're unfamiliar, it follows 20 year old bride-to-be Sophie (Meg Hateley). She's about to marry the love of her life, Sky (Miles Henderson), but she's set on finding out who her father is before the wedding so he can walk her down the aisle. She finds three potential fathers (Christopher Dickins, Stephen Beckett and Norman Bowman) in her mum's diary, and naturally, invites them all of her wedding on a Greek island. They all show up the day before the wedding, much to Sophie's mum, Donna's (Mazz Murray), horror! And, of course, chaos ensues...

The cast are all simply exceptional, but Mazz Murray as Donna is one of the greatest musical theatre performances I've ever seen. From the scene stealing Money, Money, Money, to the heart-wrenching Slipping Through My Fingers, to the climatic The Winner Takes It All, she's the star of every scene she's in. Other notable performances were Norman Bowman as Sam, and Sky as Miles Henderson.

We're all already familiar with the iconic music from worldwide phenomenon, Abba, but seeing it performed on stage gives the music a new lease of life. It's interwoven into the story in such a bonkers way that I'm not really sure how it works - but it certainly does

While the story does lack a little substance, the show makes up for it with the epic finale. You're transported to a pop concert with a medley of Abba favourites, from Waterloo, to the namesake of the show, Mamma Mia. This section is bursting with color and fun; and had all of the audience on their feet and clapping along. It's cleverly done as it ends the show on such an incredible high.

After seeing the show, I can now see why it's such a much-loved favourite in the West End, and I can't wait to go back and visit the infamous Greek island again! 

You can book tickets to see Mamma Mia! The Musical, here.

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