sugoll (sugoll) wrote,

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Mamma Mai!

katlinel and I saw this on Friday, at our local centre for thesping. No doubt k shall post more voluminously later, when time allows, but a quick summary follows.

On going in, I didn't know what to expect, other than a story based around Abba songs. That's it. I hadn't picked up anything else about it, in the more-than-a-year since we booked.

Songs there were a-plenty, and the writers had been quite clever (I thought), in how they'd been used. Given that so many of Abba's songs are female-to-male, of either the let's-have-sex or the it-all-went-wrong kinds, they've been adapted quite well. Different gender mixes, different relationship kinds, different emotional content, and so on. There was a lot of visual and physical humour, particularly in Act I, which helped with this.

The story was quite good, considering. It hadn't been particularly crow-barred together around the names and places in the lyrics, and although some elements descended into farce (boo!), at least one of the characters was sensible enough to spot that something "strange" was going on within his first handful of lines (hurray! I like clever characters).

I felt that there should have been a stronger delineation between Prologue and Act I, since three months was supposed to have passed, but never mind.

Acting varied. The younger cast were considerably more forced. The older cast were considerably more natural.

Dancing was good. Only in the encore medley section did it appear to be out, on the timing, which wasn't bad given the size of the cast. Particularly in the early songs, I felt that they were too staged, but they soon settled down.

Singing wasn't quite so good. I think I heard a few dodgy notes here and there, but mainly the let-downs were because these are Abba songs - never less than convincing, and often multiple-voice stomping anthems - and they need good delivery. A few of the cast didn't really have strong enough voices to carry the songs by themselves - and by that, I mean not that there wasn't enough volume or power, but that their voices didn't seem to have enough depth. But they all got by.

Humour was excellent. Very funny. More so in the first half, and very creative.

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