Mamma Mia! musical brings the the songs of ABBA to Norwich Theatre Royal

The Dynamos, from left, Tanya, played by Emma Clifford; Donna Sheridan, played by Helen Hobson; and

The Dynamos, from left, Tanya, played by Emma Clifford; Donna Sheridan, played by Helen Hobson; and Rosie, played by Gillian Hardie, take a selfie at the Theatre Royal as Mamma Mia comes to Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Hit musical Mamma Mia! has rolled into town bringing sunshine and the sounds of ABBA to Norwich Theatre Royal.

The Dynamos, from left, Tanya, played by Emma Clifford; Donna Sheridan, played by Helen Hobson; and

The Dynamos, from left, Tanya, played by Emma Clifford; Donna Sheridan, played by Helen Hobson; and Rosie, played by Gillian Hardie, at the Theatre Royal as Mamma Mia comes to Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

The set for the show arrived in six trucks at the weekend, and by 1pm on Tuesday the crew had worked their magic and transformed the city theatre's stage into a Greek island paradise ready for opening night.

The feelgood show - described as a sunny and funny tale of family and friendship - is in Norwich until March 25.

Packed full of ABBA hits such as Super Trouper, Money, Money, Money and Dancing Queen, it tells the story of Sophie Sheridan setting out on the eve of her wedding to discover the identity of her father.

In doing so she brings three men from her mother Donna's past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.

The Dynamos, from left, Tanya, played by Emma Clifford; Donna Sheridan, played by Helen Hobson; and

The Dynamos, from left, Tanya, played by Emma Clifford; Donna Sheridan, played by Helen Hobson; and Rosie, played by Gillian Hardie, at the Theatre Royal as Mamma Mia comes to Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017


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Helen Hobson plays Donna, the role that was famously played by Hollywood actress Meryl Streep in the 2008 film.

Ms Hobson, who first joined Mamma Mia! as Donna in the 2004 international tour before joining the West End cast and now the inaugural UK tour, said it was one of her favourite musicals and a privilege to be a part of it.

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'My passion for it is massive, I absolutely love it. It is just fantastic,' she said.

'It's a great role. The role of Donna is an iconic leading lady role and I love the story, I love the music.

Helen Hobson who plays Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia, in her dressing room at the Theatre Royal. Pictu

Helen Hobson who plays Donna Sheridan in Mamma Mia, in her dressing room at the Theatre Royal. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

'The audience reaction is also quite extraordinary.

'When we were doing it back in 2004 it was pre-movie, the musical was first. The audiences loved it then, they loved the ABBA music but we were introducing the story to them for the first time, but now of course you can watch the film at home and then come see the show.'

She said she loved singing all the ABBA tunes although she admitted that when she was younger she actually preferred riding horses to listening to pop music.

When asked if she has a favourite ABBA song, she said: 'Not really, Slipping Through My Fingers I love, The Winner Takes It All is amazing but then I love doing Super Trouper with the girls and I love doing Money, Money, Money too!'

Mamma Mia platform boots in the dressing room. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Mamma Mia platform boots in the dressing room. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Mamma Mia! is at Norwich Theatre Royal until Saturday, March 25. Tickets £8-£55. To book tickets, call the box office on 01603 630000 or visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk

MAMMA MIA FACTS

More than 38,700 tickets have so far been snapped up for the four-week run of Mamma Mia! at Norwich Theatre Royal.

Mamma Mia company manager, Ben Jefferson, in one of the dressing rooms with the Dynamos' costumes. P

Mamma Mia company manager, Ben Jefferson, in one of the dressing rooms with the Dynamos' costumes. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

In total there will be 33 performances of the touring show at the city venue.

It is the first-ever UK tour of Mamma Mia after it opened at the Bristol Hippodrome in March 2016.

The London production opened in April 1999 and is now in its 18th year, having been performed at the Prince Edward Theatre, the Prince of Wales Theatre and now the Novello Theatre in the West End. Since its premiere the London production has grossed more than £300m, played more than 7,300 performances and been seen by more than eight million people.

More than 60 million people have seen Mamma Mia! productions all over the world.

The crew move the Mamma Mia set into place on the Theatre Royal stage. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The crew move the Mamma Mia set into place on the Theatre Royal stage. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

Mamma Mia! The Movie was released in 2008 starring Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Stellan Skarsgård, Julie Walters, Dominic Cooper, Amanda Seyfried and Christine Baranski.

The Dynamos, from left, Tanya, played by Emma Clifford; Donna Sheridan, played by Helen Hobson; and

The Dynamos, from left, Tanya, played by Emma Clifford; Donna Sheridan, played by Helen Hobson; and Rosie, played by Gillian Hardie, at the Theatre Royal as Mamma Mia comes to Norwich. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2017

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