ABBA musical hits exactly the right note
Mamma Mia! is an internationally acclaimed jukebox musical, and guaranteed to make your spirits sore, which, after a year of COVID uncertainty, is exactly what the community needs.
With music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulveaus, it’s a heavenly compilation of some of the best ABBA songs, none of which has lost any of their original magical charm. For fans, it is heaven on stick!
BLOC Music Theatre’s production hits exactly the right note.
Directed by Matthew Henderson, whose professional credits are considerable, it builds to a dazzling crescendo of ABBA mania, and one would be very churlish not to be carried away; swept along on a wave a euphoric musical bliss!
Henderson has, despite the degree of creative difficulty encountered in bringing this production to the stage, has given-us a nuanced and balanced performance which serves the piece extremely well. Not a moment of its magic is lost.
Ballarat is well served for major theatre creatives. This production of Mamma Mia! is under the tight musical direction of Geoff Martin, whose band creates a fantastically authentic sound; Natalya Munro’s choreography is exactly right for the period and serves the piece. I suspect her talent, which is considerable, will take her on interesting journey in the theatre. Choral director, Majella Muller, has whipped the cast and backing singers into fine form. They produce a perfect sound which swamps the auditorium, and is absolutely pitch perfect for the production.
The cast is headed by Sarah Kate Landy, whose professional work has taken her to London and Germany. Landy’s vocal ability is as fine as you will hear in musical theatre anywhere in the world. She is a force of talent and quite perfect casting for the role of Donna. She is strongly supported by Amy Whitefield as her daughter, Sophie.
Jessica Ryan is a treasure; Liz Hardiman a rare gem; Tiernan Somers is a stunningly romantic lead; Aaron Bonell-Huy is delightfully testosterone fired; and Liam Kelly does not miss a trick!
The ensemble is tight and impressive.
As the three amigos, the suave Jason Muller, the ambiguous Chris Hiscock, and the delightful, stage-stomping Stewart Greedy (a musician of enviable talent) are a veritable comedic treat! Their finale costumes are worth the price of a ticket!
Musically, the highlights follow at an agreeably alarming rate, but special mention must be made of the duet between Landy and Mueller, both of whom are a delight to watch and to hear.
If talent – and there is an abundance in this production – together with commitment, Esprit de corps, and the sheer joy of performing, translates to ticket sales at the box-office, then this incarnation of Mamma Mia! will prove a bonanza!
If I were you, I would buy a ticket! Mad if you don’t!
Mamma Mia! is on at Her Majesty’s Theatre until 23 May with matinees Saturday and Sunday. Tickets at Majestix on 5333 5888 or hermaj.com/events/mammamia.