Presented by Nelson Musical Theatre
Theatre Royal Nelson
Directed by Peta Spooner
Music director – Michaela Sheehan
Reviewed by Charles Anderson

It was a packed house for the gala performance of Mamma Mia. As we streamed into the Theatre Royal we were met with a set design seldom, if ever seen in Nelson before. We were transported to a small Greek island – beautifully created and rendered.

Soon the audience was learning about the plans of young Sophie (Rebecca Myers) who sought to discover the true identity of her father. So she invites three of them to her imminent wedding – little to the knowledge of her mother Donna (Glenna Armstrong). Worlds and pasts soon collide in an extravaganza of song, dance, staging and of course, ABBA.

All the cast, musicians, crew and production team can be proud to have brought the show to Nelson, having put on something that is undeniably toe tapping and joyful.

Particular highlights were Tanya’s “Does your Mother Know?” – where Amanda Crehan brought to life the role of the three-times married seductress bent on humouring a young barman’s (Alex Bradley) affection.

Glenna Armstrong’s rendition of “The Winner Takes it All” feels like she was building all night to a crescendo worthy of her voice. She did not disappoint. The song showed off what she is capable of.

Mamma Mia works because of the audience’s knowledge of the songs and they responded with rapturous applause and standing ovations at the end of the production.

It is a really fun show and I hope the cast can relax a bit more into their roles and really let loose into more fully realised characters as the season goes on – both in their enjoyment of this piece and letting their voices really show what they can do.

You will definitely leave the theatre with a smile. Great effort to all involved.

The show is on from 3-23 September at Theatre Royal Nelson.

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