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Mamma Mia! – Bristol Hippodrome REVIEW

Expectations: Cheesy sing a long musical with occasional humour and the standard feel-good vibe.

Reality: So much more.

If haven’t managed to catch the long running show in the west end or the film version with the all star cast from your dvd collection, then I’ll fill you in briefly.  Mamma Mia is a musical cramming in all 22 of the greatest hits from the 70’s band ABBA.

It follows the story of a mother, Donna (Sara Poyzer), and daughter (Lucy May Barker), Sophie, on a greek island who are planning Sophie’s wedding. But with an unexpected turn of Sophie’s 3 dad’s arriving spontaneously, it is the last thing exhausted Donna needs.

Throughout this review I may refer to the film, as when it became a box office smash hit in 2008, it was watched and loved, yet despite the stage show coming out long before, in 1999, many were unaware of the live version.

I’d seen the dvd, and as a 11 year old girl had fallen in love with the songs, dancing and high energy story. But I had not warned the inner 11 year old for what I was about to experience, as I was so simply naive to the spectacle that awaited me. And pleasantly so.

The whole evening was a wonderful blur of endless grinning, singing till my throat hurt and dancing in the aisles. Vibrant costumes (including excessive lycra and platform boots) and effective choreography had everyone itching to climb up on stage and join in with the perfectively assembled madness.

I fell head over heels, for not just the actors and actresses, but the clearly portrayed relationships they had developed both on and off stage. The comedic duo consisting of Tanya (Emma Clifford) and Rosie (Jacqueline Braun) stole the show with their physical comedic dance scenes in Dancing Queen and quick wit and euphemistic wordplay. The trio were the epitome of female friendship and empowerment, endearing and heartwarming to witness.

And with the laughter came the tears, especially from my mother sat next to me when Slipping Through My Fingers was performed by Donna to Sophie, emphasising the relationship between the mother and daughter, which is what drives the story forward.

If you’ll excuse me, I must stop praising the show to go and find some flairs and a hairbrush to belt “Voulez Vous” into…

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