Mamma Mia! Is one of those big shows the word phenomenon is attached to so often you could think it’s part of the title.
It’s won awards in the West End and Broadway, racked up dizzying audience figures around the world and spawned a much-loved hit film
So, does is merit all those glittering prizes? Yes.
Mamma Mia is a musical that offers a sheer sense of fun, escapism, humour (risqué at times) and a massive dose of feel-good – all driven along by the glorious music of Abba.
Sure the plot is as lightweight as some of the Lycra outfits (bride-to-be invites three of her mum’s former lovers to her wedding on a Greek island to see which is her dad). But it has a big heart.
The real attraction is the wonderful music – it is just hit after hit – and spectacle, presented with the slick pizazz of the West End on HMT’s stage.
Big numbers, like Money, Money, Money and Does Your Mother Know, had the audience bouncing, while the sight of blokes dancing in flippers to Lay Your Love On Me had them laughing.
It wasn’t all fun and games. The tender wedding preparation scene between Sophie – the engaging Lucy May Barker – and her mum Donna – a role played to the hilt by Helen Hobson – as they sang the poignant Slipping Through My Fingers was spellbinding.
So too was Hobson giving The Winner Takes It All laldy as she confronts Sam (Jon Boydon) who spurned her 21 years before.
By the time Mamma Mia got to the happy ever after, the audience was on their feet, cheering and clapping. So when an Abba gig broke out for three more numbers, they were having a whale of a time. And why not? This great show makes you say “thank you for the music”.