Mamma Mia at Palace Theatre: Review

Jam packed with classic Abba anthems, comedy performances which will make you cry with laughter and enough feel-good factor to send you home with a massive spring in your step as well as a whopping smile on your face, Mamma Mia has arrived in Manchester as part of its 2016/17 UK tour.

Written by British playwright Catherine Johnson and chock-full of classic songs penned by Benny and Bjorn, popularity for Mamma Mia shows absolutely no signs of waning and nor should it, audiences simply can’t get enough of this smash hit, feel good musical. The party atmosphere amongst the audience is infectious, singing along and swaying in the aisles begins even before the cast have taken to the stage as each song is greeted with affectionate sighs of recognition and mutterings of ‘..this one is definitely my favourite’.

Lucy May Barker takes on the role of Sophie, a loved up twenty year old on the verge of getting married to her sweetheart Sky (Phillip Ryan). Before taking the plunge Sophie desperately wants to find out who her real father is, she tracks down three of her Mum’s ex boyfriends who are all potential candidates and invites them to her wedding, with the added complication of leaving it all as a surprise for her free spirited mother Donna (Sara Poyzer).

Poyzer is fantastic as Donna, comedic when needed yet also plays the more tender heartfelt scenes beautifully. The on stage chemistry between her and real life husband Richard Standing who plays architect Sam is fantastic and their relationship totally believable. Laughs are delivered in bucket loads by Donna’s two best mates Rosie (Jacqueline Braun) and Tanya (Emma Clifford) who together are hilarious and individually deliver hugely entertaining solo performances. Rosie sets her sights on Aussie adventurer Bill (Christopher Hollis) and makes sure he knows it through her comical delivery of Take a Chance on Me, whilst Tanya teaches wannabe toyboy Pepper (Louis Stockil) a thing or two about women during her fab rendition of Does Your Mother Know.

The ensemble are absolutely brilliant, their delivery of Anthony Van Laast’s choreography is hugely impressive, slick, smooth and packed full of energy. Mamma Mia will well and truly release your inner dancing queen; it is feel good theatre at its absolute finest. If the joy this musical brings could be bottled the world would be a brighter (and much more sparkly) place!

Palace Theatre until Saturday 4th June




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