Review: Mamma Mia at the Liverpool Empire

Share Button
Mamma Mia Cast perform at the Empire. Pic ©NGM

Mamma Mia  Pic © NGM

Mamma Mia! Here we go again as the show burst onto the Liverpool Empire stage last night with all the well-known classics by Swedish pop group ABBA woven into the creative tale.

With their only mainland UK date this year, the international touring production is an ultimate upbeat musical for all the family and is currently in its ninth year of touring.

Suspending disbelief, the play is set on a beautiful Greek island and tells the tale of bride-to-be Sophie Sheridan as she tries to discover the identity of her father before her wedding day. She invites three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago, without informing her mother Donna, and inevitably, chaos ensues.

Resilient Sophie is played by Niamh Perry who in 2008, appeared on the BBC’s ‘I’d Do Anything’.

She told JMU Journalism: “I think the beauty of Mamma Mia is that it is a show for everybody. Everyone enjoys it in their own way and the music is so timeless– it’s a feel good show but it has a lot of truth behind it.”

The romantic chemistry between former flames Donna and Sam was perfectly conveyed by real-life husband and wife team, Sara Poyzer and Richard Standing.

The actress, who has previously performed at the Everyman Theatre & Playhouse, told JMU Journalism: “It’s like having my best friend with me. He supports me on stage and off – I honestly couldn’t wish for anything better.”

Mamma Mia Pic © NGM

Mamma Mia Pic © NGM

It was the Dynamos and off-stage best friends Sue Devaney (Rosie) and Shobna Gulati (Tanya) who encapsulated the show’s light-heartedness with their quick wit and well-timed one-liners that made everybody laugh.

Michael Beckley and Mark Jardine brilliantly portrayed the roles of Bill and Harry, whilst youngster Justin Thomas got several wolf-whistles in his role as Sophie’s fiancé Sky when performing ‘Lay All Your Love on Me’.

To date, Judy Craymer’s show has been seen by more than 54 million people and the movie is the highest grossing live-action musical film of all time.

The show had the audience singing and dancing throughout, with a sing-a-long and a standing ovation at the end. It is definitely not one to miss as the cast and crew produced a seamless production – despite the dodgy mics at the beginning.

The audience was taken through a kaleidoscope of emotions throughout the show and left in stitches when one audience member comically stated her claim on Justin Thomas by shouting ‘I’ll have him if you don’t’ to Niamh’s character Sophie.

Speaking of the Liverpool audience, 24-year-old Niamh added: “I’d say they’ve been the best audience I’ve ever performed in front of so far. They’ve been with us from the very beginning – they’re a bit crazy but we love it.”

Mamma Mia! runs at the Liverpool Empire until Saturday 14th March and is next set to visit South Africa, Ireland, Israel and Italy.

About Angharad Millington, JMU Journalism