Newcomers Star in New ABBA Musical, 6 AprilDate: 7 January 1999
Casting has been announced for the new ABBA-inspired musical Mamma Mia, which opens at the Prince Edward Theatre on 6 April 1999 (following previews from 23 March). The principals include two newcomers - Lisa Stokke and Andrew Langtree - straight out of the first graduating class of Paul McCartney's Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts.
The musical follows a mother and daughter on the eve of the daughter's wedding. Stokke plays daughter 'Sophia' and Langtree her fiance 'Sky'. Siobhan McCarthy - a West End veteran who has appeared in Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar and Les Miserables - plays the mother, 'Donna'. The three are joined by a thirty-strong cast who start rehearsals this month.
Mamma Mia is based on an original book by Catherine Johnson and features music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus of 1970s supergroup ABBA. The two are also responsible for Chess, which enjoyed an extended run at the Prince Edward in the 1980s in a production directed by Trevor Nunn, currently artistic director of the National Theatre.
Mamma Mia is directed by Phyllida Lloyd whose production of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, starring Fiona Shaw, completed its run at the National last month. Lloyd has directed for the RSC and Royal Court and also has extensive operatic directing experience. This is her first commercial musical.
Mamma Mia is choreographed by Anthony Van Laast and designed by Mark Thompson, with lighting design by Howard Harrison, sound design by Andrew Bruce and musical supervision by Martin Koch.