On Wednesday night our blogger was one of the lucky ones to see Mamma Mia, the musical, at the Palace Theatre, Manchester, along with as number of Corrie stars, who had turned out for the occasion.

The Palace Theatre was bedecked with blue and white and we were handed leis to help us soak up the ‘holiday’ atmosphere and everyone was ready to party. I will be quite honest and say that, ahead of the evening, I was expecting to be writing something along the lines of ‘You’ve seen the film, now see the musical…’ however the truth is that I was completely wrong!

I am happy to admit that this musical exceeded my expectations in so many ways. It’s the same basic story as the film, of course, with a young girl on the eve of her marriage trying to find out who her real father is so that he can walk her up the wall, but nobody knows which of three men it really is and hilarity ensues.

The two main characters, Donna (the mother) and Sophie (the daughter) played the roles very convincingly, and did a great job with the songs, especially considering that ABBA songs are quite difficult for an individual singer, and the score was arranged slightly to reflect this. We were taken straight into the story, and the songs, with Sophie posting letters to her potential fathers while singing I Have a Dream.0

The storyline is quite straightforward and the evening seemed to move along at quite a pace, propelled by some well-produced and choreographed scenes. The set was a clever but simple revolving building, which very much just provided a backdrop for the characters and their relationships.

The stars of the show have to be Donna’s two friends, Rose and Tanya. The three of them used to be in a group called Donna’s Dynamos, who reform to sing at Sophie’s wedding at the end, in full sparkly ABBA outfits. These two are full of witty put-downs and hilarious one-liners, accompanied by some fun physical theatre moves. Close on their heels, however, have to be the ensemble of males, all Sky’s friends/islanders, who pulled off some great dances, the most memorable of which involved fish nets (not the stockings, real ones for catching fish!) and flippers!

This is a very cheeky show, with quite a bit of innuendo and a great deal of hip-thrusting. It would be fine for younger children, who will enjoy the music and not understand the references, however I am sure that older ones might be asking a few interesting questions…

Basically, if you’re reading this because you’re wondering whether or not to go and see this show, then my sage advice is – get on and book now. It will leave you chuckling, humming great tunes and seriously uplifted!

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