Princess Theatre, Melbourne (venue)
10 October 2023 (released)
05 October 2023
Melbourne, Mamma Mia! The Musical has arrived and what an entry! Currently playing at the Princess Theatre until December 10, opening night was magical and encompassed all of the incredible energy that only an opening night can muster. The blue carpet saw the likes of Eddie Perfect, John Foreman, Marina Prior, Julia Morris, Rhonda Burchmore and Chong Lim just to name a few.
Set in a picturesque Greek Island, the story centres on the upcoming wedding of Sophie (Sarah Krndika) and her beau Sky (Lewis Francis). After reading her mum Donna’s raunchy diary, Sophie comes to realise there are three possible candidates she can call dad. Sam (Martin Crewes), Harry (Drew Livingston) and Bill (Time Wright) all had romantic dalliances with her mother Donna (Elise McCann) 20 years ago and unbeknownst to Donna, Sophie invites the three men to her wedding.
What ensues is both heartfelt and hysterical at times. Although the production is dealing with some sensitive issues they don’t take themselves too seriously and allow the audience to laugh along with them. Playing Donna’s former band members is Tanya (Deone Zanotto) and Rosie (Bianca Bruce), the duo is hilarious and bring a lot of energy to the stage. ABBA’s incredible cavalcade of hits are worked effortlessly through the show and help drive the narrative. Highlights included, “Dancing Queen”, “SOS”, “Knowing Me, Knowing You”, “Thank You for The Music”, “The Winner Takes It All” and “Mamma Mia”. Each song was met by booming applause and the audience were clearly loving it. I’ve reviewed many shows over the years and the energy I felt coming from the audience was unsurpassed.
Produced by Michael Coppel, Louise Withers, and Linda Bewick, the Australian rendition is light-hearted and perfectly cast. The ensemble added a lot of spark to the production and the choreography by Tom Hodgson demonstrates his extensive experience. ABBA is synonymous with Australia and most of us grew up listening to them. The show closed with a standing ovation and is a must see for ABBA fans.
Picture credit: Getty Images James D Morgan