BWW Review: MAMMA MIA!, Edinburgh Playhouse
Set on a Greek island, 20-year-old Sophie has decided ahead of her impending nuptials that she wants to invite her father to the wedding. The only problem is that her mother Donna has never told her who he is and after reading Donna's diaries she finds three potential names- and invites all of them to attend.
ABBA's songs are the perfect accompaniment to this fun and silly story as the three men arrive on the island at the same time and chaos ensues. Of course, some of the songs are shoehorned in there but having Donna and her two friends reunite as a club band is a great vehicle for numbers like "Super Trooper" and "Dancing Queen".
Sophie is beautifully played by Emma Mullen and it makes the whole thing little more special when you hear that she sat in the audience of the same theatre fifteen years ago watching this show and now has the starring role.
Sharon Sexton makes for the perfect Donna as she has the comedy elements of the role mastered and is great fun during the upbeat numbers but can then shatter your heart with "The Winner Takes It All". Sexton and Mullen work well together to portray the complicated mother/daughter relationship with warmth.
The stage setting is simple but effective at transporting you to the Greek island. Mamma Mia! is a show that really lets the cast shine and both the ballads and the big ensemble numbers are captivating.
I'm not a huge fan of drawn-out encores but the finale of Mamma Mia! is absolutely joyous. You would have to be the world's most cynical person to not leave the theatre with a spring in your step.
Mamma Mia! is at the Edinburgh Playhouse until 28 September.