Mamma Mia! – Hats Off For A 5-Star Performance!

Mamma Mia! heads into town this week bringing with it a ray of pure sunshine to mark the start of the summer in Stoke-on-Trent. Set in the fictional Greek isle of Kalokairi, the show roars on stage with everything that we love about the summer all with the fabulous ‘get-up-and-dance’ soundtrack of ABBA and light-hearted comedy to add to this feel-good musical.

Now in its 23rd year as a musical, the plot follows a young Sophie who is desperate for her father to attend her upcoming nuptials, the only problem is that her mother, Donna has not ever disclosed who that is! Surreptitiously reading her mothers’ diary, Sophie has narrowed it down to three potentials, Bill, Sam and Harry, who are all then cordially invited to the wedding and land on the small island, all without the knowledge of Donna.

The show’s longevity and appeal to fans of all ages (evident in the audience with multiple generations attending together) is no co-incidence and was only increased with the cinema release 14 years ago and continues to captivate audiences.

As to the key cast, Donna is played by Sara Poyzer and with a commanding stage presence and fantastic vocals makes for a brilliant performance on the opening night. Sara stars alongside her real-life husband Richard Standing who plays Sam Carmichael whose strong vocal performance gelled beautifully with Sara’s. Joining Donna are Nicky Swift as ‘Rosie’ and Helen Anker as ‘Tanya’ completing her Dynamos whose energy and dynamism (forgive the play on words) added the perfect comedy foil to the trio and carried their own sub-plots off during the musical with many chortles from the audience culminating in the famous ‘Does Your Mother Know?’ scene and ‘Take A Chance On Me’.

Jena Panda plays Sophie who did a wonderful job of balancing the slapstick chain of events unfurled by inviting three potential fathers’ to the wedding as well as the very touching and moving scenes with Donna.

Bill and Harry are played by Phil Corbitt and Daniel Crowder respectively whose huge back-catalog of experience really shone through with both the singing and acting elements providing comic moments as well as solo’s throughout.

A special mention to James Willoughby-Moore who was absolutely brilliant as ‘Pepper’ who got his own deserved applause for his on-stage antics, energy and dancing.

The show maintained its high energy right until curtain closed and audiences were stood dancing well before the glitter-fuelled final numbers and clapping until the curtain drew to a close and Im fairly certain a lot of car journey’s home would have included an ABBA playlist on the stereo.

Tickets are selling fast, so be sure to book them here before they run out. The show runs until Saturday and includes a Wednesday and Saturday matinee.