ABBA musical Mamma Mia! marked its 14th birthday in London this past Saturday (6 April 2013) and has now extended its booking period at the Novello Theatre, its third West End home, where it is now taking bookings through to 5 April 2014. Mamma Mia! premiered at the Prince Edward Theatre on 6 April 1999, before transferring to the Prince of Wales Theatre on 3 June 2004. The musical re-opened at the Novello Theatre on 6 September 2012 and went on to record the highest-ever weekly gross taken in the history of the theatre (formerly known as the Strand), for the week ending 3 November 2012.
The current West End cast of Mamma Mia! is led by Helen Hobson as Donna Sheridan, Joanna Monro as Rosie and Kim Ismay as Tanya, with Gary Milner as Sam Carmichael, Neil Roberts as Harry Bright, James Gaddas as Bill Austin, and in the younger generation of characters, Charlotte Wakefield as Sophie Sheridan, Andreas Gyllander as Sky, Abiola Ogunbiyi as Ali, Tasha Taylor Johnson as Lisa, Steven Oliver as Pepper and Liam Doyle as Eddie. At certain performances, the role of Donna Sheridan is played by Claire Poyzer. The musical follows the story of Donna, a forty-something single mum, who recalls memories of distant carefree days on the eve of her daughter's wedding. To discover who her father is Sophie brings three men from her mother's past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago. Mamma Mia! includes ABBA hits, written by Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus, including "The Winner Takes It All", "Money Money Money", "Dancing Queen", "Chiquitita", "Voulez Vous", "S.O.S", "Thank You for the Music", "Knowing Me Knowing You" and, of course, title song "Mamma Mia". The musical has a book by Catherine Johnson, is directed by Phyllida Lloyd and produced by Judy Craymer, who were also the creative forces behind the 2008 film version, which starred Meryl Streep, Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan. Since opening in the West End, the stage show has gone on to become a global phenomenon. It has been seen by more than 50 million people in 37 productions staged in over 300 cities and translated into 14 languages.