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Mamma Mia - Nottingham Review

23 years and counting in London, multiple international productions, and 2 box office busting movies, Mamma Mia continues to delight audiences as it arrives in Nottingham as part of the show's latest UK and Ireland tour.

Helen Anker (Tanya), Sara Poyzer (Donna), Nicky Swift (Rosie) and the company. Photo by Brinkhoff/Moegenburg

The show begins with Sophie Sheridan who is preparing for her upcoming wedding only she doesn't know who her father is. After discovering Donna, her mother's, diary she discovers she has 3 potential dads. All of whom she decides to invite along for the celebration. This sets the ball rolling on a joyous romp of a ride set to the excellent score of Abba's back catalogue of hits.

The difficulty in this show is the films have become so beloved that it might be easier to try and tap into what was successful in those characterisations but here the cast makes everything their own and it's all the better for it. After all the show was running for over 10 years before the film hit the screens. Under Phyllida Lloyd's direction and with a sound creative team behind her the Mamma Mia juggernaut continues to thrive.

At the heart of the show is Sara Poyzer who is outstanding as Donna. The ability she has in conveying the big joyous moments but also to draw the audience in for the more heartfelt touching moments, including a gorgeous duet of 'Slipping Through My Fingers'. The crowning musical moment is her rendition of 'The Winner Takes It All', she sings it perfectly, building layers of emotion into every note as tears roll down her face.

Whilst Donna's journey is packed with more emotion, her two friends get to add some comedic flair. Helen Anker is deliciously fun as Tanya. She oozes confidence and appeal that is matched perfectly with Nicky Swift's highly energetic and delightful Rosie. The trio creates a believable friendship on stage that comes to the fore as they perform as 'Donna and the Dynamos' once more for Sophie's hen do.

Jena Pandya (Sophie) and the cast of Mamma Mia! Photo by Brinkhoff/Moegenburg

Jena Pandya makes Sophie almost cartoonish, to begin with, but behind the wide-eyed dreamer who just wants to discover secrets from the past is a wonderful character and Pandya creates that beautifully. She has one of the cleanest voices you'll hear and that voice doesn't disappoint at any turn, it's a star-making performance. Jasmine Shen and Amy Thiroff do a great job as Sophie's two best friends Ali and Lisa, although both are greatly underused.

The three dads do an excellent job of portraying the different characteristics of the roles. You've broad Geordie travel writter Bill Austin played by Phil Corbitt, a posh banker turned spontaneous kind of guy Harry Bright played by Daniel Crowder and architect who longs for his Greek dream Sam Carmichael played by Richard Standing. 

A youthful ensemble brings bright texture and energy to the musical numbers and brings Anthony Van Laast's choreography to life with real flair. Special mention must go to James Willoughby Moore who is hilarious as Sky's friend Pepper, he dazzles with comedic ability and humour especially when paired against Helen Anker's Tanya.

With Abba hit after hit in the score and cracking band under Carlton Edwards, it's undoubted that music is a massive part of the success of the show. There's a storming roof-raising curtain call of a trio of numbers that sends you out on a high into the night. 

After a difficult couple of years, this is the tonic we all need again. Mamma Mia is a perfect cocktail of excellent music, magnificent humour and tremendous characters. Worth every penny of your 'money, money, money'. Forget your troubles and spend a couple of hours of Greek bliss. Undeniable joy.

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Mamma Mia continues at Nottingham's Royal Concert Hall until Saturday 23rd April with tickets available from The tour continues thereafter with tickets available from

The cast of Mamma Mia. Photo by Brinkhoff/Moegenburg

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