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REVIEW: Mamma Mia! Norwich Theatre Royal

The cast of Mamma Mia! with Lucy May Barker as Sophie (centre)
The cast of Mamma Mia! with Lucy May Barker as Sophie (centre)

Mamma Mia! Theatre Royal Norwich

Take a girl, her mum and three possible dads and that’s the plot that carefully weaves itself around Abba’s tremendous back catalogue of hits to produce the smash hit that is Mamma Mia!

The musical burst on to the scene in 1999 and has played to 60m people worldwide so that indicates just how great these Abba numbers are. But never dismiss them as mere pop songs – they are technically brilliant and very hard to sing if you’ve ever attempted them at karaoke!

Helen Hobson is first class as the mum Donna, the role played by Meryl Streep in the 2008 movie, and tackles some of those iconic songs like The Winner Takes It All and Slipping Through My Fingers fearlessly. Lucy May Barker as her daughter Sophie is charming, and I enjoyed Emma Clifford as the cougar, Tanya.

Credit should go to the supporting singers and dancers who really create that massive Abba sound, with the lead guitarist always driving the show forward.

It’s a fun piece which doesn’t take itself too seriously and is, quite simply, a great night out. The finale of Super Trouper and Waterloo gets the last few members of the audience on their feet and then the party really starts.

Thank you for the music, guys!

The show continues until March 25.

Sarah Hardy

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