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Mamma Mia at the Kings Theatre - Review

Author: Haley Storey Published: 13th June 2018 06:56

When Mamma Mia burst onto our screens in 1999, I thought it the oddest combination. Having missed the hype (this was before social media even existed, you understand), I actually walked into the film thinking I was seeing a movie about Abba.

Instead I watched film set on a Greek island telling the story of a single mum preparing for her daughter Sophie's wedding. Wanting to find out who her father is, Sophie invites three men who she read about in her mother's old diary in the hope that she will recognise one of them as her dad. 

Now the musical has come to the Kings Theatre and I understand exactly what it is, seeing the stage show held no surprises.

In fact, it's an absolute joy from beginning to end.  This vibrant, colourful and poignant musical is a must-see this month and this unusually long run means more lucky people will get to see it.

Leading lady, Shona White, is just wonderful. Taking on the persona of Donna Sheridan, who was played by Meryl Streep in the film, Shona has got the mix of emotion and humour just right. It's like she's made for the role.

Donna's daughter, Sophie, played by Lucy May Barker, is another star. Her vocals were fantastic and her performance of  'I Have a Dream' was especially heartfelt.

Of course, Mamma Mia is not just about the poignancy, there are plenty of laughs to be had and this came in buckets in the form of Tanya (Helen Anker) and Rosie (Nicky Swift) who are Donna's friends and come to help with the wedding. I absolutely loved their bedroom scene where they entice Donna out of her sadness and end up in a blasting performance of Dancing Queen.

I'm not exaggerating when I say that I enjoyed every single part of this show including the lively hen and stag party scenes but another highlight was 'Does Your Mother Know'. I'd been looking forward to this part and it didn't disappoint with its expected hilarity between Tanya and one of the younger men who has taken a shine to the older woman. The boys, by the way, should not be forgotten, they are an absolute delight and keep the show bouncing along. The three 'dads' who have accepted Sophie's invitation without understanding why all give a brilliant performance and I particularly enjoyed 'Take a Chance on Me' between Rosie and Bill.

I don't think I am the only mum of girls who finds the song Slipping Through My Fingers' impossible to get through without tears, such a heartrending piece portraying the loss a mum feels as their daughter leaves home, it gets me every time. Following straight after with The Winner Takes it All, this was such an emotional part of the show and Shona's star quality was dazzling.

I'm so pleased that Mamma Mia is on until the 23rd June because it's just stunning and the proof of the pudding was when the audience got on their feet to start singing, dancing and clapping and then left the theatre absolutely buzzing. I could watch it again tonight.

Get your tickets at the box office on 023 92 828282 or online at kingsportsmouth.co.uk.

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