A MUSICAL which uses the back catalogue of ABBA was always going to be hit and Mamma Mia! certainly has been.
It has now been seen by more than 65 million people in 450 cities and it still continues to pull the punters in.
The latest touring production of the show can be seen at the Liverpool Empire until this Saturday (April 9).
The show may be celebrating its 23rd birthday this month, but it still feels fresh and relevant and it is a welcome pick-me-up at the end of a long winter.
Mamma Mia! is set before the wedding of Sophie Sheridan (Phoebe Roberts) to Sky (Toby Miles) on the tiny Greek island of Kalokairi.
Sophie is portrayed on the poster of the musical, however it is her mum, Donna Sheridan (Sara Poyzer) who is given the biggest number of the show - The Winner Takes It All. Sara’s rendition does not disappoint.
Sara has been in other touring productions of this show and her experience is noticeable.
Sophie appears in more of the scenes. She has enthusiasm in abundance and has some terrific interactions with other cast members and the ensemble.
Sophie is unaware of who her dad is and so invites the three men who she thinks her dad could be to her wedding. They are Sam Carmichael (Richard Standing), Bill Austin (Phil Corbitt) and Harry Bright (Daniel Crowder). Richard Standing has also been in touring productions of the show before, and he looks comfortable in the role.
This production oozes energy too and the ensemble are especially good in the hen and stag parties. James Willoughby Moore as Pepper is among the standout characters.
Donna’s friends Rosie (Nicky Swift) and Tanya (Helen Anker) provide many of the laughs, particularly in the numbers Chiquitita and Dancing Queen.
The first act is more light-hearted with the songs like Honey, Honey and Dancing Queen, and Act Two is more thoughtful and serious with the numbers Under Attack, and Our Last Summer.
The women characters are very strong in this show and this is not surprising as the ABBA songs were written for female singers.
This is a feel-good show with music which is standing the test of time. 9/10