I was fortunate enough to spend time with a good friend last night who was over for just a few days from Singapore. She’d wangled some free tickets to see Mamma Mia, so after a pre-theatre nibble at Dishoom (which is a must visit if you haven’t been), we trot off to the Prince of Wales theatre.
Now, I’ve seen Mamma Mia at the theatre before. And the film. There is very little plot to speak of, this we all know. Most people go because they are
a) fans of ABBA
b) tourists, or
This production however, was hideous, for a variety of reasons…
- Most of the cast struggled vocally. Not only were their singing voices poor, they barely enunciated
- The dancers (term used in the loosest sense), were poor. High kicks barely made it past waist level for most of them
- Muffin tops were an odd wardrobe choice for many of the usually lithe cast; usually inexcusable for a dancer
- The fat / skinny sidekick combo mustered a few laughs, but the chemistry between them (and indeed the cast), was non-existent
- The set, like the costumes and majority of the cast, were tired
After arriving 5 minutes late, we had to wait to be seated. Thankfully only ten minutes. There was a screen in the bar, but the very loud bar staff had to be asked to turn it up. Twice. Even then, the sound quality was much the same as it was in the auditorium. Poor. And we were in row H of the stalls!
The house looked full. Which we both found astonishing. Had we not been late and brought to our seats, we’d probably have left after 15 minutes. However, we hung on till the interval. And then snuck off to find some gin.
One to avoid. Even if you are getting a free ticket…
Iain G. Morrison can now understand why at Waterloo, Napoleon did surrender…