Posts with the label abba
Showing posts with label abba. Show all posts
Showing posts with label abba. Show all posts

Wednesday 22 March 2023

The Way Old Friends Do, Park Theatre | Review

The Way Old Friends Do
Park Theatre

The Way Old Friends Do is a heartwarming play set to the backdrop of ABBA, that has you feeling an array of emotions and having a really good time. Written by Ian Hallard and under the expert direction of Mark Gatiss we are taken on the journey of music, friendship and found family.
The talented ensemble cast that bring each character to life in a charming way. Rose Shalloo is a complete stand out, continually bringing an infectious energy and providing some of the most endearingly humourous moments. James Bradshaw and Ian Hallard give well thought out performances and have an excellently witty chemistry with one another.

Janet Bird's set design is simple but effective, allowing the focus to remain on the actors and their performances. The revolving set cleverly transforms to a number of rooms whilst maintaining the ABBA-ness of it all.

This is a heartfelt play explores themes of love, loss, and friendship in a way that feels both universal and deeply personal. The story is filled with moments of both joy and sadness, that feel mostly natural and have you invested in the lives of the characters. The second act does suddenly take a turn to drama and comes across somewhat rushed, without enough development to truly hit home but overall things are well paced, and it's a sweet tale that celebrates friendship.

Overall, The Way Old Friends Do is a production that I highly recommend. It's a touching, well-crafted play that will stay with you after the final curtain call and have you wanting to create your own ABBA tribute group!

Reviewed on Tuesday 21st March 2023
photo credit: Tristram Kenton

{AD PR Invite- tickets gifted in exchange for honest review}

The Way Old Friends Do, Park Theatre | Review

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Wednesday 9 February 2022

Mamma Mia! The Party Extends Booking to October 2022

Mamma Mia! The Party, London’s premier dining experience, has extended its booking period due to extraordinary demand and is now playing to Sunday 2 October 2022. Tickets for the new booking period at The O2 London are now on sale.

Created by ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus, Mamma Mia! The Party is a unique and magical experience in a class of its own, bringing all your favourite hits to life more vividly than ever before: over the course of four glittering hours, guests can immerse themselves in a spectacular musical extravaganza, a four-course Greek feast and an ABBA disco, all in one unforgettable evening of dancing, dining and singing!

Food is at the heart of the experience and a new menu has been created that collects the finest Greece has to offer, made from the best, freshest ingredients. Our guests will be served with a traditional meze followed by the iconic Greek salad of fresh cherry tomatoes, cucumber and feta. For the main course, confit lamb shoulder and slow-cooked beef are served with roasted garlic potatoes, courgettes peperonata, romesco and aromatic jus. For our vegetarian and vegan guests, we present roasted cauliflower with a lemon-herb dressing and stuffed tomato with lentil ragout. A sumptuous Greek lemon cake served with confit orange skin and citrus yoghurt is the perfect end to this delicious meal. For our vegan guests, we are serving traditional loukoumades, delicious dough balls accompanied by a sweet fig jam.

Guests can get the ultimate Mamma Mia! The Party experience with one of our packages. The Platinum Package gives you a Tier A ticket in a prime location, a meet & greet and photo opportunity with members of the cast, champagne on arrival, half a bottle of wine and a Mamma Mia! The Party merchandise party pack. Guests can also upgrade their existing booking by adding the VIP upgrade package taking their experience to the next level with champagne on arrival, half a bottle of wine and a Mamma Mia! The Party merchandise party pack.

The London cast includes Fed Zanni as Nikos, Steph Parry as Kate, Linda John Pierre as Debbie, AJ Bentley as Adam, Julia Imbach as Kostantina, Allie Ho Chee as Bella, Kimberly Powell as Nina, Dawn Spence as Grandma and Gregor Stewart as Fernando. Also in the cast are Oscar Balmaseda, Jonathon Bentley, Molly Cleere and Jessica Spalis. The musicians are John Donovan, Luke Higgins, Kathryn Tindall, Steve Rushton and Mark Pusey.

Mamma Mia! The Party is set in a taverna on the beautiful Greek island of Skopelos, where most exteriors of the first Mamma Mia! film were shot. Nikos and his wife Kate run this exotic and wonderful restaurant together with their family and friends. Told through dialogue and timeless ABBA songs, a warm, romantic and funny story evolves and unfolds during the evening, taking place around the guests as they sit at their tables enjoying a gourmet Greek meal. The evening ends with a 1970s disco, where audience members are welcome to stay to sing and dance to ABBA recordings.

Mamma Mia! The Party has music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (some songs with Stig Anderson), and a story by Calle Norlén, Roine Söderlundh and Björn Ulvaeus, with the English book by writer, comedian and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig.

The London version of Mamma Mia! The Party, which originally opened in Stockholm in January 2016, is co-directed and choreographed by Stacey Haynes and Roine Söderlundh, with set designed by Bengt Fröderberg, lighting designed by Patrick Woodroffe, sound designed by Gareth Owen, costumes designed by Annsofi Nyberg, music supervision by Robin Svensson and casting by David Grindrod for Grindrod Burton Associates.

Mamma Mia! The Party is executively produced by Björn Ulvaeus and produced by Sally Davies for U-Live.

Mamma Mia! The Party Extends Booking to October 2022

Wednesday 9 February 2022

Thursday 19 September 2019

Mamma Mia! The Party, The O2 | Review

Mamma Mia! The Party
The O2
Reviewed on Monday 9th September 2019 by Olivia Mitchell 

Mamma Mia fever continues to swipe the UK as us sun-deprived Brits crave the Greek sea and sun, and the joyous ABBA music with which it's become synonymous. Mamma Mia! The Party aims to fill these cravings with a night of dinner theatre which entertains and delights from start to finish.

Upon entering the space in the O2, you are transported to a taverna on the island of Skopelos. Greeted with "Kalispera", smiles and drinks, the tones is set and you really do feel as if you've escaped from London. Thanks to the attention to detail throughout, none of the space feels tacky or cheap and each crevice feels authentically Greek. From posters on the walls to fountains and flowers dotted round, there's plenty to see purely on the journey to your seat.

The night is set out as an immersive show which is broken up by food and drink. The show plot is seriously flimsy and very pantomime-esque but the cast perform brilliantly and everything entertains. The performances of ABBA's music are camp and bold, and there are some unexpectedly magical moments. Everyone is part of the action, with waiters dancing and singing and everyone feeling as though they're part of an ABBA family.

The food is top notch (the olives are divine) and you get a lot. Various courses include greek treats such as tzatziki, lamb, octopus, spinach pie and so much more. The segues from the action to the courses being served are well carried out and the night as a whole flows wonderfully; particularly impressive when there are hundreds of guests a night! Perhaps the hefty price tag should include free soft drinks, but you do get a lot for your money, money, money and it's definitely a treat of an experience. 

Gareth Owen's sound design means every moment is crystal clear as the cast bounce around and involve the audience throughout. Steph Parry gives a particularly strong performance throughout and as with the whole cast and team, is inviting and warm. As a whole this is a complete cheese fest and exactly what you'd expect from a Mamma Mia themed event. 35 songs are shoehorned into the flimsy story, there's pyrotechnics, acrobatics, flipper tricks and more. Certainly something for everyone!

There's no denying this is a pricey experience but it's so worth it if you want to channel your inner Julie Walters and feel like a Super Trouper for the night.

Tickets can be purchased for Mamma Mia! The Party at

photo credit: Helen Maybanks

Mamma Mia! The Party, The O2 | Review

Thursday 19 September 2019

Saturday 9 March 2019

Mamma Mia, Novello Theatre | Review

Mamma Mia
Novello Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 6th March 2019 by Olivia Mitchell

It's a cult classic, it's summery fun, it's the music of ABBA and altogether it's a great night out. It's never going to be the most theatrically enthralling or deeply emotive piece of theatre but Mamma Mia is a boat load of laughs and a perfect carefree way to spend a couple of hours.

In case you've somehow missed it, Mamma Mia is set on a Greek Island where Donna Sheridan lives with her daughter Sophie, who is getting married to ex-banker Sky. Sophie is on a mission to find her dad so invites her three potential fathers to her wedding. What ensues is a journey where past emotions are brought up, and the importance of family is examined and everyone bops out to a bit of ABBA. When it opened in 1999 in London, very few would have imagined the worldwide success of the Mamma Mia franchise and it seems that this success is in safe hands with the current West End cast who are helping it celebrate it's 20th Anniversary.

Having recently taken over the role, Charlotte O'Rourke is super sweet is Sophie Sheridan. Bringing the sweet vocals we all expect as well as power in act two. Alongside Alec Porter as Sky, the pair make a nice duo and give an especially entertaining performance in Lay All Your Love on Me.

Leading lady Donna is a pretty extensive role which requires some big vocal chops. At this performance, Caroline Deverill took on the role and did so with both honesty emotion and exuberant energy. Songs such as The Winner Takes It All and Money, Money, Money were stand outs of the night. As her Dynamos, Jennifer Hepburn (Rosie) and Kate Graham (Tanya) gave spandex filled performances and delivered their witty lines with a freshness that the audience clearly loved.

Sophie's three dads were played by Mark Isherwood (Harry), Stephen Beckett (Bill) and Richard Trinder (Sam). The three get the audience on their side immediately and give wonderfully comedic and heart warming performances. Their complex relationships with each other, Donna and Sophie are well played out and extremely entertaining. 

The ensemble work hard to bring the Greek island to life in terms of choreography as well as providing backing vocals to most of the show. There did seem to be come vocal imbalance throughout, with the leads often being almost silent but this was rectified by the mega-mix ending. 

Mark Thompson's basic set is cleverly used with the addition of props and lighting to simplistically put the story across and compared to other shows does feel a bit dated and overly basic, but it does the job and that's all you can ask for, and expect, with a show like this. 

With the Mamma Mia sequel recently being released and the ABBA love being felt more than ever, it's no surprise that this show continues to be a success. It's not a categorically 'great' musical but it's super energetic, platform filled and as much fun as you wish it would be. 

Tickets for Mamma Mia can be booked via

photo credit: Brinkoff/Mögenburg

Mamma Mia, Novello Theatre | Review

Saturday 9 March 2019

Thursday 16 November 2017

Mamma Mia (UK Tour) | New Oxford Theatre | Review

Mamma Mia (UK Tour)
New Oxford Theatre
Reviewed on Wednesday 15th November 2017 by Michelle Pont 

You don’t have to be an ABBA fan to get caught up in this wonderful show now showing at the New Oxford Theatre. Full credit to the talented performers who, with boundless energy, dance and sing their way through the show, giving life to the music and story line.

This performance, originally from London’s West End, really shouldn’t be missed by any musical lover. Choreographed to perfection, by Anthony Van Laast, it’s a pleasure to see every movement being part of the performance. Stage sets are danced in and off with seamless effort.

The boys in the ensemble and Louis Stockil as Pepper and Brad Veitch as Eddie take the show as eye candy. They manage doing some amazing acrobatics including impossible leaping press-ups, high kicks and exceptional dance moves. The extra bonus was their display of their bare chests and muscles. Hot stuff!

Stand out performances were from Kay Milbourn, as Donna. She punched out some wonderful songs. Her performance was natural and believable. Watch out for her rendition of ‘The Winner Takes it All’, which she sings with such conviction and meaning, managing to bring a tear to my eye.

My other stand out performance was from Jamie Hogarth playing Harry Bright and singing ‘Our Last Summer'. Jamie’s performance is of course wonderfully acted and he has a lovely voice. And of course, the brilliant performance of Rosie by Gillian Hardie along with her side kick Emma Clifford as Tanya. Gillian put her soul into the performance and won the audience with her comic portrayal. Emma strutted the stage giving her character the panache it deserved and keeping the comic timing and performance well heeled.

Christopher Hollis’ portrayal of Bill Austin, an Aussie rough neck was excellent. His accent was faultless and in fact I thought he was Australian. His performance also was faultless. The whole cast are brimming with talent. The Orchestra didn’t miss a beat and were also outstanding.

A standing ovation was given at the end of the show and it was well deserved. Two encores were fabulous which saw all six main characters dressed in the iconic sparkly ABBA jump suits. I can’t help but think they all enjoyed wearing and performing in these outfits.

No matter what you think of ABBA’s music, this show puts meaning to their songs and crafts an enjoyable night of entertainment- get yourself there! The tour is performing around the country 2017/18 so there is still time to catch it. Praise to all involved in this production.

Mamma Mia runs at the New Oxford Theatre until November 25th before continuing its tour.

Photo credit: Brinkhoff M Âgenburg

Mamma Mia (UK Tour) | New Oxford Theatre | Review

Thursday 16 November 2017