The Dynamos stop the traffic outside Norwich Theatre Royal today – © The Eye Snapper
There are few of us who will not admit that we always enjoyed the music of Abba, even if we were shy to say so once!
Take a fistful of their hits and add a delightful stage show with strong leading female roles and you have a sure recipe for a smash hit show, and MAMMA MIA! the musical was born.
It has been playing to sell-out audiences around the world since its 1999 debut in London’s West End, with successful runs in cities from Antwerp to Zagreb and nearly twenty years later any evening will see seven or more versions on stage somewhere around the globe. Tonight the UK tour comes to Norwich and is here until March 25th. Don’t hesitate to get yourself a ticket to this landmark event – tickets are selling fast with early shows nearly sold out.
Set on a Greek island paradise, writer Catherine Johnson’s story features a daughter setting out on the eve of her wedding to discover the identity of her father and in doing so, she brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.
Cleverly and seamlessly woven into the storyline are hit after hit from the ABBA songbook – Chiquitita, Does Your Mother Know, I Have A Dream, Knowing Me Knowing You, Lay All your Love On Me, Mamma Mia, One Of Us, Our Last Summer, Super Trouper, Take A Chance On me, Slipping Through My Fingers , and many more.
From West End to global phenomenon, the London production of MAMMA MIA! has now been seen by more than 10% of the entire UK population and is one of only five musicals to have run for more than ten years both on Broadway and in the West End. In 2011, it became the first Western musical ever to be staged in Mandarin in the People’s Republic of China and to-date, there have been some 50 productions of MAMMA MIA! in 16 different languages, while MAMMA MIA! The Movie – which starred Meryl Streep, Julie Walters, Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan – is the highest worldwide grossing live-action musical film of all time.
With a strong creative team with music & lyrics by ABBA songwriters Benny Andersson & Björn Ulvaeus, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast, it’s no wonder this juggernaut of a show, which is still pulling in the crowds more than 17 years after it first launched in London in 1999, has wowed theatregoers around the globe.
Norwich Eye had a peek backstage earlier today and a chat with tour manager Ben Jefferson (looking very relaxed on the set here). Why, I asked him, should people who have seen the film a few times come to the Theatre Royal to see the live show? “That’s just it – because it is live! This is a great live show, and we have excellent singers in this show”. Ben took us through the busy backstage area and dressing rooms, where rows of fabulous hand-crafted costumes are ready for the stars tonight. ‘Super Troupers’ stage trio The Dynamos popped out for a quick photo in front of the theatre, stopping the buses on Theatre Street in both directions with their promise of a show you cannot miss.
Look out for the Norwich Eye review of MAMMA MIA! coming soon.
<– Ben Jefferson on the set of MAMMA MIA!
MAMMA MIA!, Tuesday, February 28 to Saturday March 25, 2017. Eves 7.30pm, Mats 2.30pm on Thur 2, Sat 4, Tues 7, Thur 9, Sat 11, Thur 16, Sat 18, Tues 21, Thur 23, Sat 25. Tickets £8-£55. Discounts for Friends, Over 60s, Under 18s, Groups. Caption Performances: Thur Mar 9, 2.30pm, and Thur Mar 16, 7.30pm. Audio Described Performances: Sat Mar 18, 2.30pm, and Sat Mar 25, 2.30pm. Signed Performance: Sat Mar 18, 2.30pm. BOX OFFICE 01603 630000. For more info or to BOOK ONLINE http://www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk/