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REVIEW: Mamma Mia! musical gets standing ovation in ABBAdeen

mamma mia aberdeen

Here we – finally – go again: After Covid-19 delays, Mamma Mia! has brought much-needed sunshine, light-hearted comedy, and amazing ABBA music to Aberdeen’s His Majesty’s Theatre.

And last night’s musical was everything you could hope it to be and more.

Fans of the hugely popular 2008 film simply cannot be disappointed – the stage version features just as many outrageously funny scenes and it lets you appreciate the music of the Swedish pop group in a more immersive way.

Mamma Mia! – which first premiered on stage in 1999 – has become a feel-good global phenomenon. More than 70 million people around the world have seen the musical and yesterday’s show proved that Mamma Mia! is one of the longest-running West End shows for a good reason.

Set on a Greek island, the much-loved story follows 20-year-old Sophie – wonderfully portrayed by Jena Pandya – who has decided to invite her father to the wedding. The only problem is that her mother Donna has never told her who he is. So, after reading her mum’s diary, Sophie finds three potential names – Sam, Bill and Harry – and invites them all to the wedding.

mamma mia aberdeen
Three potential dads from Mamma Mia! which is at HMT in Aberdeen until March 26.

Fantastic cast, fabulous costumes and great music

The stage setting was simple yet effective at transporting north-east audience members to a Mediterranean paradise. With no special effects or camera tricks, the show heavily relied on the actors to deliver emotional as well as more light-hearted performances. And they did so beautifully.

Sara Poyzer, who played the part of Donna, was particularly brilliant – her The Winner Takes It All performance was very moving and received well-deserved applause.

Sara easily captured everyone in the His Majesty’s audience with her charisma and amazing voice. The only time she didn’t have the theatre-goers’ full attention was when she sang Slipping Through My Fingers – a song about a mum letting go of her child as she grows up.

Some Aberdeen mums in the audience were looking at their grown-up daughters who went to see the musical with them. That’s the charm of Mamma Mia! – it really is for all generations and it sure is a fabulous way to spend some time with your loved ones.

Don’t miss Mamma Mia! at His Majesty’s Theatre in Aberdeen.

Donna and the Dynamos steal the show in Mamma Mia in Aberdeen

Sara, who was cast as Donna long before Meryl Streep starred in the film version of the musical, was often joined by Nicky Swift (Rosie) and Helen Anker (Tanya). Together, Donna and the Dynamos always lit up the stage.

And just like Christine Baranski’s character in the film, Helen’s Tanya also stole the show and received the most laughs.

I’m certain fans of the film were eagerly anticipating the Does Your Mother Know scene and boy did Helen deliver. Cheeky yet classy, the rich three-time divorcee was beautifully effortless and irresistibly fun.

James Willoughby Moore deserves a mention too – his hilarious take on Pepper immediately won over last night’s audiences.

Mamma Mia brought great choreography to Aberdeen.

It was clear that every aspect of Mamma Mia! was created to bring pure joy and fun to musical-lovers all over the UK. From glittering costumes and high-energy choreography, to catchy ABBA tunes and tongue-in-cheek humour, the show simply ticked all the jukebox musical boxes.

It even turned into a concert at the end, with audiences begging for more and singing their favourite ABBA songs on the way home.

So make sure you Take A Chance On Mamma Mia! while it’s still in town until March 26 – you’re guaranteed to have a good time. Tickets can be purchased here.

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