I had the pleasure of watching Mamma Mia at the Sunderland Empire last night. The show has been described as the world’s sunniest and most exhilarating smash-hit musical! And I totally agree.
Set on a Greek island it is a story of love, friendship and identity cleverly told through the hit-songs of ABBA. The Empire was packed and the audience were up for a party.
Mammia Mia! moves at a pace. There is hardly time to breathe before another timeless, ABBA song hits you in the face. The show bounds along with endless enthusiasm and energy.
Helen Hobson's performance as Donna Sheridan was inspired, her voice had real clarity and passion and she carried the weight of the show on her shoulders effortlessly. Gillian Hardy's comic timing, as Rosie, was fantastic and the scene with Christopher Hollis who played Bill Austin had me crying with laughter.
By the end of the show the audience were up dancing in the aisles and singing (in some cases, very badly) along to the songs.
A combination of the heady mix of Abba songs, camp dance routines, platform boots and Lycra costumes made for a delightful evening of fun. Mamma Mia! is pure, unapologetic seventies tackiness and if you haven't seen it before, you are in for a treat.