Theatre Review: Mamma Mia – Novello Theatre  

Owing to the popularity of the 2008 film, there are no real surprises with the stage version of Mamma Mia; you go expecting – and getting – a thoroughly entertaining night out. Now in its 18th year, the ABBA numbers could almost have been written with this musical in mind, so seamlessly do they weave together to ‘narrate’ the story. The sets at this West End production are simple yet effective – as a committed Greekophile, they are certainly evocative of the whitewashed tavernas and houses of the Cyclades – I could almost taste the Ouzo!

The latest London cast members, including several on their West End debuts, all appear to be having a good time, which transmits to the audience. The stand outs for me were Mazz Murray (Tanya) and Richard Trinder (Sam), whose experience and stagecraft shone through. Sanne den Besten (Sophie) and Richard Carson (Sky) created a believable pair of young lovers, whilst Felipe Bejarano (Pepper), in his first major West End role since graduating from the Laine Academy in 2016, showed good comic timing and charm as the wanna-be ‘toy boy’.

The curtain calls meld into a sing-a-long of Dancing Queen and Waterloo to get the audience clapping and on their feet, with the whole ensemble joining in the fun. As feel-good nights out go, Mamma Mia ticks all the boxes and is still drawing in the audiences, sending you home smiling and singing along… and is also available on UK tour this year.