Mamma Mia! at the GOH brings joy to sold-out audience
Mamma Mia! opened a 2-week run at The GOH on Tuesday and my, my, just how much we needed this familiar feel-good musical.
It will come as no surprise to hear I have seen the show a few times, in London's West End though I was overjoyed when I heard it was coming to Belfast. I adore the Movie's and love Abba's music so much so recently went to London to see Abba Voyage and on Tuesday we were ready to be transported back to the Greek island to see the wedding of Sophie and Sky.
Jena Pandya as Sophie kicks off the story with a few lines of I Have a Dream and then bursting into Honey, Honey while reading her mother Donna's diary to her two friends. The scene was set. Sophie had invited her three possible dads to the island for her wedding without her mum knowing!
Cue the arrival of the three very different dad contenders - Harry, Bill and Sam - then mix with mum Donna's hilarious former band-mates Rosie and Tanya. Now, throw in a few dilemmas, some very amusing moments and, of course, lots of singing and dancing along the way and you have the perfect summer cocktail that is Mamma Mia!
The set is basic, with traditional Greek white and blue buildings, there were no big scenery changes though this show doesn't require it because of the exhilarating sense of fun and happiness the music & story brings, while capturing your full attention.
The cast grew with confidence as the story progressed and with singing voices so key to their parts, they were hitting all the right notes.
Jena Pandya as Sophie and Toby Miles as Sky played the young lovebirds perfectly and were often in their own little world as the chaos happened around them.
Sara Poyzer as Donna really stood out for me. Her singing was great, and she really took us on Donna's journey. She had us laughing as she reminisced with Harry, had us crying when she sang Slipping Through My Fingers as she helped Sophie prepare for her wedding, and had us feeling her gut-wrenching hurt as she belted out The Winner Takes It All to Sam.
Nicky Swift (Rosie) and Helen Anker (Tanya) were both very high-spirited and I loved their rendition of Chiquitia when they recreated Donna and The Dynamos.
The dads, Richard Standing (Sam Carmichael), Phil Corbitt (Bill Austin), Daniel Crowder (Harry Bright) were all excellent, too, bringing three different but endearing personalities to the parts. I love how the reveal Harry's relationship with a man, this is insinuated in the movie though not address so it was a pleased surprise.
There's time at the end of the show for a couple more ABBA songs and this is when the audience really got whisked away, Sharon my guest and I really enjoyed the whole show, she said she liked Jena Pandya as Sophie the best.
Mamma Mia! provides a perfect combination. A fantastic feel-good night at the theatre, an easy story to follow and packed with iconic Abba tunes, I really struggled not to sing along at the top of my voice.
The show runs until Saturday 19th November. Tickets are still available at goh.co.uk