Alhambra Theatre, Bradford – until Saturday 23 November 2019
Reviewed by Aimee Liddington
On a Greek island, a wedding is about to take place. Sophie Sheridan, played by Emma Mullen, is about to marry the love of her life, Sky, played by Toby Miles. Sophie has been brought up by her mother Donna Sheridan, who is played by Sharon Sexton, and doesn’t know who her father is. During the lead up to her wedding, Sophie does some snooping in her mother’s diary and sends wedding invitations to three potential fathers. Mamma Mia is a heart-warming tale which explores love in all of its forms. From family love, to friendship and to romance, this smash hit musical based on the songs of ABBA really leaves you remembering what life is all about.
Many of the actors in the production have fantastic singing voices but the real stars of the show are Emma Mullen and Sharon Sexton who play Sophie and Donna Sheridan. The pure mother and daughter relationship that is portrayed in their rendition of Slipping Through My Fingers is enough to bring a tear to the eye. However, the real pinnacle of the show is Sharon Sexton’s performance of The Winner Takes It All – her vocal range is really showcased in this song and has the audience mesmerised and wrapped up in the character’s emotion.
The heartfelt ballads are interjected with pockets of humour and comedy. Nicky Swift, who plays Rosie, and Helen Anker, who plays Tanya, can take a lot of responsibility for this. Their attempt to cheer up their best friend with a performance of Chiquitita is easily one of the most hilarious parts of the show. Equally Nicky Swift’s performance of S.O.S with Jamie Kenna, who plays Bill Austin, is hysterical. Additionally, the group ensemble pieces such as Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! and Voulez Vous are extremely well choreographed and timed which allows the vibe to switch from emotional to humorous in very short spaces of time.
Finally, a review of Mamma Mia would not be complete without a mention to the fantastic band who really do justice to Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus’ musical masterpieces. From the overture all the way to the encore, the band give 100% to ensure the audience is dancing in (and sometimes out!) of their seats.
A fabulous show full of glitter, groove and platform heels. If you’re a fan of ABBA, or not, watching this production is an incredible experience and will certainly leave you feeling like one.