5* Review UK Tour Mamma Mia

Review UK Tour Mamma Mia….

It’s very rare that you come away from a regional production feeling it bettered Broadway & The West End. Today that happened….

The UK 2016 Touring production of Mamma Mia hit Nottingham and for the first time, in my view, it was perfect!

With 9 sell out shows this week, this camp, uplifting story of love, family, friendship and companionship is still inspiring some 12 years after it opened in London. This has to be the biggest tours in musical history!

What Mamma Mia lacks in set, subtlety & originality it makes up for in mega-hits, performance and feel good reward. You leave the theatre feeling the world will be ok – that’s priceless!

The touring set is as minimalistic as the rest of the globe….somehow its simplicity adds to the show. No-one cares! The lighting is superb and in the sound was simply the best I’ve ever heard in the cavernous Concert Hall in Nottingham.

5* to sound – superb and so important in a show of this musical magnitude.

Where this production shone today, more than any of the other 30+ times I’ve seen it around the world, was the talent – the backbone of the play. Donna & Sophie were world class and sensational.

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Lucy May Barker is no beginner in Showbiz, maybe this speaks volumes. She oozes confidence, character, talent and vocal prowess.

Barker had mastered innocence & cuteness with perfect delivery – something I’ve never seen done as well anywhere else.

Jenna Lee James, her mum Donna, is simply divine! Jenna is not just a triple threat – she’s adds in comic timing and personality into the mix making it a killer performance. I just loved it.

I’ve never been more impressed by an actress in this role. She’s not only physically beautifully but vocally sensational filling this mammoth venue in a way I’ve rarely heard in 20 years of visiting.

Her charm, warmth, fun factor but most importantly vocal magnificence (especially in Slipping through my fingers & Winner takes it all) was breath-taking and clear to all.

It’s no wonder Jenna is headlining around the world whilst appearing in this show.

God given talent, tone, control & stage presence / beauty for both. These leading ladies should be the level to which all aspire in musical theatre. Effortless.

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Nods must also go to Louis Stockil who was the epitome of Pepper & Stuart Hickey who is one of the few Harry’s who could not only sing the part but make it his own.

The ensemble are collectively one of the most gorgeous casts I’ve ever seen.

Their energy was infectious and they looked like they enjoyed every minute. The epitome of a musical theatre company.

This is a show only succeeds on the vocal talent of the Donna & Sophie to bring these much loved songs alive. If the ensemble look hot and can knock the energy out of the park, the sound desk can do the rest!

Don’t miss Mamma Mia on tour. A 4* feel good production with 5* hits & cast.

Review by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 23rd June 2016.