Mamma Mia! hits Blackpool next year, Pilkington leads new West End cast
The international tour of hit ABBA musical Mamma Mia! will visit Blackpool Opera House next summer - the only UK venue outside of London to host the production in 2014.
The run, from 20 June to 31 August 2014, marks the first time in more than ten years Blackpool is hosting a summer season of a major West End musical.
Natalie Wyatt, managing director of Marketing Blackpool, said: "This is a fantastic coup for Blackpool and one which we believe will help boost our ability in terms of attracting visitors, in particular those who wish to come and stay in the resort.
"We also hope it will help our night-time economy and of course support the wider businesses. It also represents a great opportunity to showcase a regenerated Blackpool to the rest of the UK."
Mamma Mia! premiered in the West End on 6 April 1999. The international tour opened in Dublin in September 2004 and has to date visited 74 cities in 35 countries and been seen by more than 4.3 million people.
New cast for West End
At the Novello, where the West End run continues, 24 of the 33 cast members will be changing on 10 June 2013, marking the largest cast change the London production has seen since it first opened.
Dianne Pilkington will lead the new cast as Donna Sheridan. Her recent West End credits include Master Class at the Vaudeville Theatre, The 39 Steps at the Criterion, and as Glinda in Wicked at the Apollo Victoria for three years. She also recently appeared in the Tom Hooper film of Les Misérables.
Also joining the cast from 10 June are Jane Milligan as Rosie, Richard Trinder as Sam, Emma Crossley as Sophie Sheridan, Oliver Tilney as Sky, Jessica Daley as Ali, Stephanie Clift as Lisa, Dickie Wood as Pepper and Dan Krikler as Eddie.
Kim Ismay will continue as Tanya, and Neil Roberts as Harry Bright and James Gaddas as Bill Austin. At certain performances, the role of Donna Sheridan will continue to be played by Claire Poyzer.