Review: ★★★ Mamma Mia, Novello Theatre

Right, I don’t like Abba, really. and I definitely don’t like the Mamma Mia film. Or Amanda Seyfried singing anything, ever. That could take up a post on its own.

I got this idea in my head, though, that I should try and see everything because it’s really annoying when you’re a ‘musical theatre fan’ and you have to confess to never having seen Mamma Mia or The Book Of Mormon. Mormon news coming soon, hopefully.

So Lovetheatre got me some cheaaaaaap tickets with fish and chips included, which was lovely. Seriously Ben’s Fish and Chips on Shaftesbury Avenue is a wonderful little find which do wonderful fish and chips at a very reasonable price, in the centre of London.

I don’t hate the music, and actually the renditions of it in the show were all interesting enough to keep me entertained. The only issue is that I don’t really love the music, either.

I expected to be impressed by the cast at least. I’ve never heard a bad word about Mazz Murray, and having seen Dianne Pilkington in Wicked and loving her, and seeing Gabrielle Williams play Chris in Carrie at the Southwark Playhouse last year, I expected them to make the whole experience far better than it would originally have been.

Mazz Murray’s Does Your Mother Know was probably the highlight of the show for me, I absolutely loved it. It was Thursday night of Bank Holiday Weekend I guess, but the whole audience were having an absolutely wonderful time, myself included.

The men were also brilliant. I believed that they were genuinely confused, which is impressive given how utterly ridiculous that storyline is.

(Apparently I’m not allowed to comment on ridiculous storylines because I like The Phanton Of The Opera)

I have to confess that I was a teeny tiny bit disappointed by Dianne Pilkington and Gabrielle Williams. That may have been just because I think the story is ridiculous and I’d previously seen them both in two of my favourite shows I’ve ever seen, where they played relatively substance-y characters. Maybe I was just expecting too much – I can’t actually put my finger on what I thought was wrong with their performances and I certainly can’t fault their voices – I was just a bit bored!

I kept doing that thing where I checked my watch and then hated myself for checking my watch because I AM AT THE THEATRE AND SUPPOSED TO BE ENJOYING IT.

And then. Well. And then everything changed.

See, for the last twelve ish minutes of the show, they sing all of the songs which they couldn’t quite write in. To be honest they should have just set it in London and then Waterloo would have been made to measure BUT, alas, I am not the writer of these things.

Probably a good job, to be fair.

So the £25 which I had paid for my ticket all became very, very quickly worth it when the whole stage and audience just started dancing to songs which, whether you like abba or not, you can’t help but dance to.

Its clever, because I left the theatre saying ‘wow, what a wonderful fantastic show’, knowing that there were bits of it through which I was planning what I was going to put in my overnight oats. Life.

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