Share |


Published by: Kirstie Niland on 21st Aug 2014 | View all blogs by Kirstie Niland
Blackpool Opera House

MAMMA MIA! How can I resist you when the Blackpool show has broken box office history. After seeing this five-star performance at the Opera House it’s clear to see why it remains packed well into its 12-week run.

Geraldine Fitzgerald, Sara Poyzer & Sue Devaney in MAMMA MIA! International Tour, credit Brinkhoff & M+Âgenburg.jpg

Having watched the movie several times it took a few minutes to adjust to the cast. It’s a bit like seeing the film before the book, it spoils you for the real thing. After all, how can anyone beat such a stellar line-up including Meryl Streep and Colin Firth? forming a cast so packed full of charisma and talent that you forget the big names and get carried away by their magic – enough to have you on your feet, dancing and singing along with a standing ovation at the end.

Blackpool’s Opera House is the only venue to host the international tour of the West End production of MAMMA MIA! this year, and took £2million in ticket sales in the first six weeks alone, making it Blackpool’s highest ever grossing show.

The feel good family tale set on a Greek island features a simple set which is seamlessly changed by the cast themselves, so that the story flows without interruption.

The most spectacular moments are: the Voulez Vous scene, where Sophie’s three fathers announce they will give her away as she swirls into confusion under disco lights; and the high action flipper sequence where the groom’s friends carry the boy band-esque Sky (Bart Edwards) away to Lay All Your Love on Me. And if like me you’ve seen the film first, then deleted movie scenes Under Attack and The Name of the Game are a welcome surprise.

Understudy Jasmin Colangelo is sweet as Sophie, and Sara Poyzer powerfully eclipses Meryl Streep as Donna. Ex Corrie star Richard Standing is superb as Sam, and anyone wondering at the heightened chemistry between him and his Say I Do bride should know they celebrated their real life wedding anniversary one night this summer after their on-stage marriage!

The cast as a whole create huge chemistry together, and a special shout-out must go to homegrown talent and West End Billy Elliot star Ashley Luke Lloyd who is an entertaining and high energy Eddie.

My favourite stars of the show were Donna and the Dynamos. Sara (Donna), Sue Devaney (Rose), and Geraldine Fitzgerald (Tanya) are excellently cast as friends for life. Chiquitita, Does Your Mother Know and Take a Chance on Me are hilarious and excellently choreographed, and Sara’s performance of The Winner Takes it All and Slipping Through My Fingers are mesmerising and full of emotion.

Geraldine Fitzgerald, Sara Poyzer & Sue Devaney in MAMMA MIA! International Tour 2, credit Brinkhoff & M+Âgenburg.jpg

Of course no production of Mamma Mia would be complete without the comedy finale of Waterloo. The three male leads, Sam, Bill Austin and Harry Headbanger, do Abba, Blackpool and Funny Girls proud, strutting their stuff to perfection.

So on behalf of UK Theatre Network I say: MAMMA MIA and the Opera House...Thank you for the Music.

The International Tour of MAMMA MIA! is playing at the Winter Gardens Opera House, Blackpool, until September 14. Take a Chance on me and see it. (Sorry, couldn’t resist).

Tickets, priced from £20, are available from Blackpool Opera House and VisitBlackpool Tourist Information Centre, 01253 478222, or by calling Ticketmaster 0844 847 2517.



  • Cameron Lowe
    by Cameron Lowe 3 years ago
    Thanks for the review, Kirstie. Almost as much fun to read as seeing the show itself! In my experience, the book is almost always better than the film and that is true for theatre, too! :D
  • Kirstie Niland
    by Kirstie Niland 3 years ago
    You're welcome, and thanks :-) I enjpyed writing it, such a fantastic feel good show. I agree, the magic gets lost when it's not in the format it was created for.
Please login or sign up to post on this network.
Click here to sign up now.