Photo Flash: Around the Broadway World - MAMMA MIA! Makes Its Way to China!

After years of planning and negotiating, MAMMA MIA! the global smash hit based on the songs of ABBA, will be staged by a Chinese company in a new translation under the direction of the creative team who oversee the musical in London. This marks the first time a blockbuster contemporary musical has been presented in Chinese in China.

MAMMA MIA!, is produced by United Asia Live Entertainment Co for China Arts And Entertainment Group by arrangement with Judy Craymer, Richard East and Björn Ulvaeus for Littlestar in association with Universal.

With the story and the songs now translated into Chinese, combined with ABBA's existing worldwide fame, the potential is huge: in effect, another 1.3 billion people or one-fifth of the world's population now have their very own version of MAMMA MIA! to enjoy.

This is the fourteenth different language version of the long running, smash hit musical created by producer Judy Craymer.

Previews in Shanghai suggest that local audiences have taken to the ultimate West End feel-good show with great enthusiasm. Judy Craymer makes it clear what a triumph the opening represents...

"The challenges have been immense because what we're doing here is genuinely pioneering". she said "There's virtually no infrastructure for commercial musical theatre in China, so finding the talent we needed - actors, technicians, stage crew and musicians - proved extremely difficult, locating a theatre to accommodate us took a long time and even translating the lyrics into a tonal language was a major challenge. But we did it. We're here and it works: the preview audiences are loving it."

Littlestar, owners of MAMMA MIA! negotiated the license deal with the Chinese co-producer United Asia Live Entertainment Co (UALE), the commercial wing of the Ministry of Culture.

Tian Yuan President of UALE, explained why MAMMA MIA! is the first worldwide musical masterpiece to be produced in Chinese.

"MAMMA MIA! is a great starting point for China in the business of musicals. Why we chose it, to be frank, is because of its success. It will not only give Chinese audiences an excellent show, but also bring advanced techniques and experience from abroad which will enrich Chinese culture and our ability to create our own, original productions."

A contributing factor to the active development of commercial theatre across China is the current 5-year plan which sees culture moving from an 'emergent' to a 'pillar industry'. In basic terms this means that the Cultural Industry will receive significant funding so as to generate at least 5% GDP as part of that plan.

Following an engagement in Shanghai, the MAMMA MIA! Chinese production will subsequently tour extensively around China. The first leg, which could last up to a year, will cover major cities including Beijing and Guangzhou. The second, scheduled for 2012 and beyond will tour more of the mainland as well as Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and Singapore.

This production is directed by associate director Paul Garrington, while the music is overseen by Martin Lowe

From West End smash hit to global phenomenon, MAMMA MIA! is producer Judy Craymer's ingenious vision to stage the story-telling magic of ABBA's timeless songs such as "Dancing Queen" and "Take A Chance On Me," and writer Catherine Johnson's enchanting tale of family and friendship unfolding on a Greek island paradise. MAMMA MIA! has already made a strong impression in China with large audiences and a growing fan-base. This is only one of the reasons why MAMMA MIA! has been chosen to be the first worldwide musical hit to be produced in Chinese.

MAMMA MIA!, is in its 13th smash hit year at The Prince of Wales Theatre in London and remains one of the West End's top selling musicals. More than 45 million people, in over 300 cities worldwide have already seen the show around the world and it celebrates 10 years on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre this October. MAMMA MIA! The Movie, the film inspired by the stage show and produced by Judy Craymer is the most successful musical film of all time and the DVD is found in one in every four households in the UK.

Photo Credit: Kim Ho-Kuen/ Bea Seok

Photo Flash: Around the Broadway World - MAMMA MIA! Makes Its Way to China!

Photo Flash: Around the Broadway World - MAMMA MIA! Makes Its Way to China!
Cast of MAMMA MIA!

Photo Flash: Around the Broadway World - MAMMA MIA! Makes Its Way to China!
Cast of MAMMA MIA!

Photo Flash: Around the Broadway World - MAMMA MIA! Makes Its Way to China!
Cast of MAMMA MIA!

Photo Flash: Around the Broadway World - MAMMA MIA! Makes Its Way to China!
Cast of MAMMA MIA!

Photo Flash: Around the Broadway World - MAMMA MIA! Makes Its Way to China!
Cast of MAMMA MIA!

Photo Flash: Around the Broadway World - MAMMA MIA! Makes Its Way to China!
Cast of MAMMA MIA!

Photo Flash: Around the Broadway World - MAMMA MIA! Makes Its Way to China!
Cast of MAMMA MIA!

Photo Flash: Around the Broadway World - MAMMA MIA! Makes Its Way to China!
Cast of MAMMA MIA!

Photo Flash: Around the Broadway World - MAMMA MIA! Makes Its Way to China!
Cast of MAMMA MIA!

Photo Flash: Around the Broadway World - MAMMA MIA! Makes Its Way to China!

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