10 November 2006 WOS Rating: Average Reader Rating: Reader Reviews: View and add to our user reviews Juke box musicals come and go. They vary in quality with the majority being an excuse to include a back catalogue of hits, regardless of story. But this Super Trouper is the world's No1 show and with good reason. Far from being just an Abba musical, this heart warming hit has a witty script by Catherine Johnson which revolves around a young girl's search for her father. So desperate is she to find him, she invites three candidates to her wedding without telling her mother.
This is an exuberant celebration of love, friendship, identity and commitment. The songs of Abba are well suited for a musical as they are all mini epics. Their melodies sweep you along and the narrative is given added zing by these beautiful songs. The cast all embrace the music and give heart felt performances making this so much more than a sing through of the Swedes' greatest hits.
Kate Brayben is wonderful as heroine Sophie. She has a naked, vulnerable quality to her voice. Her "Name Of The Game" becomes a soul searching, barn-storming number thanks to her lovely vocal tone. Jackie Clune plays Donna, the woman with the key to her daughter's quest. She clearly has a ball and her rendition of "The Winner Takes It All" brings the house down. On stage for most of the show, this brilliant actress hardly stops for breath - singing all the hits with gusto. Morag Siller provides comic relief as best friend Rosie and has a real knack for slapstick. Of the three dads, Sam Carmichael is the strongest vocally and has an earthy feel to his voice which gives the material new life.
"Voulez-Vous" shows off the electric ensemble who make
Anthony Van Last's complex and athletic choreography look effortless. Phyllida LLoydís frenetic direction means that there is never a dull moment. So much nostalgia and heartache is featured within the music but here twists and tweaks are made that please an audience corn fed this type of musical regularly but often left hungry.
makes you laugh, cry and marvel at the wonder of the super groupís tunes. You will be dancing in the aisles by the finale. Ring, Ring for a ticket before they are all gone. Mamma Mia!
- Glenn Meads
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