Look out your platform heels, flared jumpsuits and lashings of sequins as Mamma Mia hits the stage for a month-long run at HMT in Aberdeen.
The hit musical based on Abba’s music opened in London’s West End in 1999 and has had phenomenal success all over the world. Packed with more than 20 fabulous Swedish supergroup singalongs, the show is billed as “the world’s sunniest musical”. And it certainly warmed up last night’s capacity crowd.
Set on a sun-drenched Greek Island, a young Sophie seeks to find her real father to walk her down the aisle as she marries childhood sweetheart Sky.
Her mother, Donna, a former singer who now runs a struggling hotel on the island, had flings with three potential candidates and Sophie invites them all to the wedding in the hope of discovering which one is her real father.
That is when craziness begins!
A slick revolving set expertly glides from Greek taverna to beach, from church to bedroom while clever lighting gives the impression of sunnier climes. Everyone’s favourites Abba songs are sung at the appropriate time: Thank You for the Music; Voulez-Vous; Dancing Queen; and of course, Mamma Mia.
Girl power is at the heart of this superb show. Lucy May Barker is outstanding as Sophie, with refreshingly flawless vocals she opened and closed the show with I have a dream.
But for me, the real superstars of the show are Donna, played by Helen Hobson, and her two former band members and best buddies, the bubbly Rosie (Gillian Hardie) and man-eater Tanya (Emma Clifford). They reduced the audience to tears of laughter with their terrific chemistry, banter and on-stage antics.
During their “for one night only” comeback as Donna and the Dynamos, resplendent in sequined jumpsuits, they kicked off the hen night with a bang, complete with cheesy dance moves, to Super Trouper.
Not to be outdone the three possible dads, Sam (Jon Boydon), Bill (Christopher Hollis) and Harry (Jamie Hogarth), put in a stellar performance with vocals that (thankfully) seem vastly improved from their counterparts in the hit movie.
Bill’s duet with Tanya when she literally throws herself on him during Take a chance on me is brilliant, both facial expressions and raunchy dance moves were an absolute joy.
This fast-paced show is full of energy and endless enthusiasm with outstanding choreography. The male dancers were extremely talented and produced a number of the laughs, especially at the beach stag party as they managed to dance while wearing flippers and no doubt pleasing the predominantly female audience with some fine looking toned torsos.
High praise must also go to Louis Stockil who plays Sky’s friend Pepper, his impressive acrobatics and dance moves were brilliantly executed and he was hilarious trying to impress Tanya during Does Your Mother Know?
Although this is predominantly a comedy, there are also some wonderful poignant moments. A few tears were shed as Donna dressed Sophie for her wedding and sang the emotional Slipping Through My Fingers as she prepared to hand over her daughter to be married.
All too soon we reached the end but not before audience participation time when the whole auditorium joined in the party, dancing and singing along to a medley of hits.
A fabulous feel-good show that is guaranteed to leave a beaming smile on everyone’s faces, I would go back tomorrow if I could.
You can catch Mamma Mia at HMT until October 14.