Money, money, money... there is nothing funny about the impact of this big show that’s just landed in Blackpool.
The arrival of Mamma Mia’s international tour is a remarkable scoop for the town, which is relying heavily on its success to rejuvenate the summer season. Not since the town hosted Cats several decades years ago has there been such a buzz about a show.
The gala VIP performance was simply buzzing with the great and the good of the resort – desperate to be elevated back into the big time. And were they in for a treat? They absolutely were.
There is no questioning the musical is already a phenomenom. This performance, watched by half the cast of Coronation Street and three Nolans (of course), was no less,
Raucous, joyful and in some places, bawdy, Mamma Mia is exactly what Blackpool needs – a ray of summer in the Winter Gardens – one of the biggest theatre venues in the north west.
Pitched carefully to grasp the family and the lucrative hen do market, Mamma Mia takes Abba’s uplifting and emotive songs and lyrics, translating them into the story of a young girl, desperate to find her father before she weds and her single mother’s personal conflict about lost love and opportunities.
Lots of bronzed young men dancing ( and thrusting generally) makes it a crowd pleaser and the interaction between generations makes it identifiable with. You cannot help but want to be leading character Donna Sheridan or her ingenue daughter, the wide-eyed 20-year-old Sophie.
The relationship between the two of them is key and perfectly cast - it works much better when Donna is cast as the 42-year-old she was intended to be by writer Judy Craymer, rather than the 60-year-olds we have come to know in the film version.
You don’t need to be an Abba fan or a musical obsessive to enjoy this. Trust me, you can’t help but love it.