West End juggernaut Mamma Mia!'s ongoing success will enter a new phase in next month as it moves venue one again from the Prince Of Wales to the Novello Theatre. The ABBA-inspired musical opened in the West End at the Prince Edward Theatre in April 1999 and played there until June 2004 when it took up residence at the Prince Of Wales. The show, which interweaves a Catherine Johnson-penned story of a daughter's quest to discover her father's identity so that he can walk her down the aisle at her wedding with a slew of ABBA hits, quickly became a surprise hit.
The 2008 film adaptation, capitalising on the musical's success which starred Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Julie Walters and Amanda Seyfried became a wordwide smash hit, raking in over $600million at the worldwide box office and making it the highest-grossing movie musical of all time.
The movie's phenomenal reception helped a resurgence in ticket sales for the stage show, and although other long-runners such as Chicago, Dreamboats and Petticoats and even Blood Brothers have had to wind down recently, sales for Mamma Mia are strong enough to see the show into a new venue and a new chapter in its West End life. The show's last performance at the Prince Of Wales will be on September 1st, with it swiftly re-opening at the Novello on the 6th, just 5 days later. The gala performance of the show will be at the Novello on Wednesday 12th September in honour of this year's BBC Children In Need Appeal to help raise funds for the charity. The evening will also feature special appearances by broadcasting legend Sir Terry Wogan, as well as BBC Radio 2 presenters Anneka Rice, Vanessa Feltz and Penny Smith.
West End darling Sally Ann Triplett currently heads the cast as Donna Sheridan, the mother caught up in both her daughter's upcoming nuptials and the prospect of coming face to face with not one but three of her former suitors to reveal that one of them is an unknowing father. The cast also includes Gary Milner as Sam Carmichael, Neil Roberts as Harry Bright, James Gaddas as Bill Austin, Joanna Monro as Rosie and Kim Ismay as Tanya. Charlotte Wakefield plays Donna's daughter Sophie Sheridan with Andreas Gyllander as her fiance Sky. The main cast is rounded out with Abiola Ogunbiyi as Ali, Tasha Taylor Johnson as Lisa, Steven Oliver as Pepper and Liam Doyle as Eddie. Helen Hobson will take over from Sally Ann Triplett as Donna from September 24. Claire Poyzer takes on the role of Donna at certain performances.
The show's score features a barrage of the Swedish supergroup's classic hits including Dancing Queen, The Winner Takes It All, Fernando, Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!, S.O.S, Take A Chance On Me, Money, Money, Money and of course the joyous title track.
Book tickets for Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre here