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  • Review by john Murray

Mamma Mia! in Edinburgh

Running all the way until January there is certainly plenty time to book your seats for this showcase over Christmas in the huge Edinburgh Playhouse. Devised originally by Judy Craymer she successfully courted Benny and Bjorn from Abba and along with Richard East made this show a reality. With agreement in principle she approached Catherine Johnson and the original book was written and Phyllida Lloyd installed as initial director.

The aim was always a West End show and a story to involve the great songs from ABBA. This is what they achieved and from there came amazing success and a movie in 2008. That in itself became the highest grossing musical film of all time. This current tour takes them all over the UK so we are privileged to have them here over the festive period.

You may even know the story: Sophie’s wedding on a Greek island could only be complete if her father could be there but who is the daddy? There are three candidates and she has invited them all and this begins a series of encounters with Sophie’s mum Donna (played by Sara Poyzer). Sophie is played by Lucy May Barker and her youthful exuberance comes over well on this huge stage. As for her mum, well we wait for her big moment and when The Winner Takes It All finally comes she grabs the emotion of those words as it requires, not only a breathtaking piece in the production but a career high in the ABBA songbook.

Donna’s supporting ladies Tanya (Emma Clifford) and Rosie (Jacqueline Braun) supply all the comedy – especially in the first half and universal laughter resulted in the theatre. With a huge ensemble the dancing has to be spot on and it is and all with the most amazing soundtrack of hits of which Dancing Queen, Mamma Mia and Voulez – Vous are outstanding.

All that has been said about this show has to be believed as the audience round me loved every minute, many in group nights out and quite a few aiming to return for another night.

Edinburgh Playhouse until January 7 2017

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