Mamma Mia exceeds all expectations
Theatre Royal, Nelson
Nelson Musical Theatre
Reviewed by Trish Sullivan
If you haven't bought your tickets yet, don't delay! This is the must-see show of 2017.
The impressive touring set and costumes provide a convincing Greek holiday atmosphere, but the accomplished execution from the cast, means the audience could be forgiven for thinking the local performers are that of a professional Broadway theatre.
We are drawn into a young bride's quest to find her real father before her big day. It could be one of three men, each of whom are uniquely charming but Sam, the handsome jock, played so modestly by Phil Bergman, certainly won my heart.
Possibly unbeknownst to most of the audience, beneath the stage a 20-piece band and singers' booth (expertly directed by Michaela Sheehan) provides all the accompanying music and vocals. They are simply outstanding, always supporting the excellent solo work on stage.
A highlight is the powerful "The Winner Takes It All" which Glenna Armstrong (Donna) seems to deliver with exceptional ease.
Although an often overlooked department, the Nelson Musical Theatre technical team deserves credit here. The flawless sound production and lighting design was noticeable by its inconspicuousness, typically a difficult thing to master.
Of course, we all know the ABBA hits and are itching to sing along throughout. Thankfully the encore gives us a chance to boogie; a wonderful finale treat to participate in what is obviously a thoroughly enjoyable production for all involved.
Be aware that this isn't just another local production in the Nelson theatre schedule. It is bigger, better and far more fabulous. It certainly exceeded my expectations.
Shows continue until Saturday 23 September. Do not miss this one. Grab your tickets now!