Mayflower Theatre, Southampton – until 29 February 2020
Reviewed by Jo Gordon
Having been on the scene for a couple of decades now Mamma Mia certainly keeps the audiences coming back time after time; me included as this is possibly my fourth time, maybe even fifth, and I enjoy it now as much as the first.
Set on a beautiful Greek Island we follow the story of Donna and her soon to be wed daughter, Sophie. Sophie has never known who her father is and on finding her mothers diary from the year she was born discovers there are potentially three possibilities so she secretly invites them all onto the island for the big day. All three turn up and despite trying to hide them Donna soon discovers their arrival and is less than pleased!
Hilarity ensues as the bride and grooms friends gather en mass to the island and Donna’s lifelong friends arrive to share the big day. As the story of Donna’s relationship with the three men unfolds (it was the 70’s!) they realise why Sophie has invited them, and each one believes they are her father with one still having feelings for the feisty Donna he fell in love with all those years ago.
The story is told throughout using the medium of ABBA; their back catalogue provides a song for every possible scenario in the production, from dancing scuba divers, misty eyed recollection and broken hearts. Will Sophie get the answers she wants?
The set is very simplistic with an ocean blue background and a white Greek building we all recognise from those holiday programmes that make you wish you were somewhere else other than a rainy (insert your town here)! Its a fun production with lots of bright, sparkly costume changes and dance routines that would leave most of us gasping for air and clutching our chests.
There’s not many people who won’t recognise at least one of the ABBA songs and it wasn’t just me sat in the audience that knew them word for word and found it difficult to not leap to our feet and throw some shapes, especially when Dancing Queen came on…. the favourite one for gaggles of women on dance floors across the lands. However, there is one song that I know brings many a moist eye and if Slipping Through my Fingers leaves yours dusty dry I’m not sure we can be friends! An uplifiting, energetic toe tapping production and a must see. Grab your friends, squeeze into that sparkly jumpsuit and celebrate that inner Dancing Queen!