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Reviewed: Mamma Mia! at Curve

It’s time to lay all your love on the ninth longest-running show in Broadway history.

The cast of Mamma Mia! - Photography by Brinkhoff/Mögenburg

ABBA is always guaranteed to fill a dance floor, and Curve-accommodated production of Mamma Mia! directed by Phyllida Lloyd proves why the Swedish pop group’s anthology of hits should fill theatres too.

Dungarees and Lycra aside for a moment, much like the show, we will halt to proceed, taking a moment to reflect on last week’s devastating news.

Curve not only shared signs of respect for Queen Elizabeth II around the theatre café, but kickstarted Tuesday’s performance of Mamma Mia! with the national anthem and fond memories of Her Majesty opening the building back in 2006.

With a sense of community already growing in the audience before the show began, there was nothing but admiration and appreciation from all glitter-eyed viewers from the very start.

Mamma Mia! is a jukebox musical written by British playwright Catherine Johnson, based on songs recorded by Swedish group ABBA, composed by members of the band Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus.

It has been named the world's sunniest, most exhilarating smash-hit musical since its first performance back in 1999, and it’s safe to say this accreditation remains true.

Mariella Mazzilli (Liza), Jena Pandya (Sophie) and Jasmine Shen (Ali)

The well-known musical-turned-movie not only heightens nostalgia for ABBA fans, but embarks viewers through many emotional themes from friendship and heartbreak to motherhood, love and loss.

Resisting the urge to sing along, we had the pleasure of witnessing the wonderful performance carried out by the Mamma Mia! UK & International Tour cast.

I must admit, when the show first began and ‘I Have a Dream’ silenced the room, I felt a case of the ‘ick’ wash over me. It hadn’t dawned on me as an ABBA and Mamma Mia movie fan that I’d be hearing the songs in a more theatrical style.

I sat slightly on edge through ‘Honey Honey’ with this same thought in mind, but as soon as the iconic Donna and the Dynamos stood centre stage, I was fully emersed in the magic of the musical.

Sarah Poyzer (Donna), Nicky Swift (Rosie) and Helen Anker (Tanya) well and truly stole the show both as a trio and during their solo performances. Their onstage chemistry shone in times of sadness and radiated through the room during moments of laughter.

The rest of the cast were incredibly talented. The choreography by Anthony Van Laast felt spontaneous through all the well-known hits, and Howard Harrison’s lighting helped make what little space they had for the set feel like we were with them on the island.

If you are ready to dance, jive and perhaps even have the time of your life… then this is not a show to be missed.


See Mamma Mia! at Curve until September 24.

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