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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Abba-dabba-doo


We've not been to the Concert Hall in a while, but for a treat, I booked a couple of tickets to see the opening night of Mamma Mia, which is showing for the next couple of weeks.

It was of course a full house, to see what is now one of the worlds best loved musicals. The storyline is quite a simple one, a twenty year old girl who lives on a Greek island with her mother is about to get married. But one problem, she doesn't know who her dad is. There are three possible contenders, who have all been former lovers of her mum. So she invites them all to her wedding, in the hope that she can find out which man is her real father. This story is weaved around a number of Abba's most famous songs, culminating in of course the title track; Mamma Mia.

The stage setting was simple, but very effective. It was of course very colourful. Like you were watching it live in Technicolor. I could feel that the audience were dying to get up and dance and sing along to the tunes, just like they did a few weeks ago, when we went to see the Abba tribute band at Mansfield. But the audience were very well behaved, and just clapped along to some of the more lively Ulvaeus and Andersson tunes. I have always been an Abba fan, so knew a lot of the lyrics, which I quietly sang to Gail at opportune moments.

I thought there was something missing though. I couldn't really work out what it was, until Gail said that she really enjoyed it, but would have liked to have been closer to the stage. Then it clicked. it was a lack of connection with the artists. Being so far away, I couldn't really make out the actors' faces. The sound level was great, the singing and dancing top notch. I just couldn't see the cast moving their mouths at all. Nobody's fault of course, except mine maybe, being shortsighted. Perhaps I need to take a pair of binoculars next time.