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22 years of pop magic still delighting audiences

Times Echo and Life / All News / 22 years of pop magic still delighting audiences
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19 MAY

22 years of pop magic still delighting audiences

By timesecholife on in All News, What's On

When Abba won The Eurovision Song Contest way back in 1974 with Waterloo, they can hardly have imagined the global phenomenon they were due to become as one of the most successful and prolific groups of all time.

When Abba won The Eurovision Song Contest way back in 1974 with Waterloo, they can hardly have imagined the global phenomenon they were due to become as one of the most successful and prolific groups of all time.

After stratospheric record success, Mamma Mia! The Musical opened in 1999 to huge critical acclaim, followed by the film version in 2008 and the sequel Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again ten years later.

The current touring version of Mamma Mia! playing at The Regent in Stoke-on-Trent is still as vibrant and dynamic as ever, with over 20 Abba hits woven around the story set on a tiny Greek Island and around the taverna owned by Donna, magnificently played by Sara Poyzer whose daughter Sophie (Jena Pandya) is getting married to Sky (Toby Miles).

Unbeknown to her mother Sophie invites the three men to the wedding who she believes are all contenders to be her father, Richard Standing as Sam, Daniel Crowder as Harry and Phil Corbitt as Bill, all much to the horror of her mother who does not know herself who the real father is! Also invited are her old friends, Tanya (Helen Anker) and Rosie (Nicky Swift) who performed in the past with Donna in the group Donna and the Dynamos.

The three perform a terrific rendition of Super Trouper in stunning classic Abba style shimmering silver costumes. Sara Poyzer gives a show stopping dramatic performance of The Winner Takes it All, that has the audience transfixed. In a show crammed full with stand out numbers and superb, sometimes quirky choreography James Willoughby Moore injects his own brand of cheeky humour to full effect in The Name of the Game.

Completing the cast are Jasmine Shen (Ali), Mariella Mazzilli (Lisa), Corey Mitchell (Eddie) and Sarah Harlington (Alternate Donna Sheridan). Further casting includes Taylor Bridges, Ambra Caserotti, Martin Dickinson, Billy Downes, Chloe Gentles, Rachel Ivy, Luke Jasztal, Matt Kennedy, Lewis Kidd, Robert Knight, Hollie Nelson, Natasha O’Brien, Phoebe Roberts, Blair Robertson, Kaine Ruddach, Amy Thiroff and Cameron Vear.

With music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, Mamma Mia! is written by Catherine Johnson, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast.

The production is designed by Mark Thompson, with lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Andrew Bruce and Bobby Aitken, and musical supervision, additional material and arrangements by Martin Koch. The Mamma Mia! UK and International Tour is produced by Judy Craymer, Richard East and Björn Ulvaeus for Littlestar in association with Universal and NGM.

Mamma Mia! is playing at The Regent Theatre until Saturday (May 21). Their box office telephone number is 0844 8717615.

Theatre review by Rick Lane.

Pictured are Helen Anker (Tanya), Sara Poyzer (Donna), Nicky Swift (Rosie). Photo by Brinkhoff-Moegenburg.

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