Mamma Mia Celebrates Third Birthday with New CastDate: 18 March 2002
Mamma Mia introduces some new cast members tonight, just in time for the production's third birthday. The hit Abba musical opened at West End's Prince Edward Theatre on 6 April 1999 (previews from 23 March) and has played to capacity houses ever since, with not a single seat unsold since opening.
Based on the songs of 1970s Swedish supergroup Abba, Mamma Mia takes place on a Greek island where, on the eve of her wedding, young Sophie has gathered together her mum's three ex's in a bid to find out who her father is. The score includes Abba classics such as Dancing Queen, Thank You for the Music and Take a Chance on Me.
From tonight, 18 March, Laura Michelle Kelly and Paul Basleigh will take over the roles of young lovers Sophie and Sky, while Susannah Fellows and Myra McFadyen will join the cast as Tanya and Rosie respectively. Louise Plowright will continue to star as mum Donna, with her former beaux Peter Forbes (Harry), Simon Slater (Sam) and Rohan Tickell (Bill).
Laura Michelle Kelly has previously been seen in the West End productions of Whistle Down the Wind (Swallow) and Les Miserables (Eponine) while Basleigh's credits include Saturday Night Fever and Grease. McFadyen's credits include Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme and Macbeth (National) and Fellows comes direct from playing Mama Morton in Chicago.
Mamma Mia continues to break box office records at the Prince Edward Theatre where, to date, it has grossed over £60 million at the box office and sold two million tickets. In October 2001, the show opened on Broadway. Other productions continue in Toronto and Melbourne while two separate tours are currently travelling throughout the US. Later this year, productions will launch in Hamburg and Tokyo.
The musical has music and lyrics by Abba's Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, with an original book by Catherine Johnson. It is directed by Phyllida Lloyd, choreographed by Anthony Van Laast and designed by Mark Thompson, with lighting by Howard Harrison, sound by Andrew Bruce and Bobby Aitken, and musical supervision and arrangements by Martin Koch.
In the West End, Mamma Mia is currently booking up to 15 March 2003.
- by Terri Paddock