Mamma Mia at the West End

On Thursday night, I finally went to see Mamma Mia at the West End, in the Novello Theatre. I grew up listening to the bright green ABBA cassette tape (yes, I am actually old enough to have used cassette tapes) on my colourful kiddie tape player, and when the film came out I loved it to no end.

I’ve managed to see a fair few theatre productions in the last few years (War Horse, Les Mis, Matilda, Jersey Boys, Sunny Afternoon and possibly a couple of others), and this was hands down the most ridiculous one I’ve ever seen. The atmosphere in the theatre is just amazing; everyone knows the ABBA songs are just a bit cheesy, but they’re so fun that you can’t help but love them and dance along in your seat.

Photo from novellotheatrelondon.info

Where I was sitting, I could see a group of girls in the dress circle who were dancing and singing along the entire duration of the production, which normally would be frowned upon, but it just seemed like the thing to do! They provided quite a bit of entertainment, actually, with the facial expressions they were pulling…

I have to say, though, I have immense respect for any woman who can dance, frollock, jump and prance around in heels, let alone on stage. And there were a lot of dancing women in heels in this play! And the same goes for all the guys (with impressive abs) doing the scene with the diving flipper thingies on their feet (I have no idea what those are called!), because that had us all rolling around in fits of laughter.

Every person on the stage was brilliant to watch, and it was definitely one of my best theatre experiences. I was surprised to see how much the film had stuck to the narrative of the play, despite changing the odd bit here and there, I wouldn’t say the film is any substitute for seeing it live, though, because it’s just a brilliant experience.

Before I saw the play, I stopped off at Covent Garden – this was the first time I’ve ever seen the Covent Garden Christmas tree and lights, which were pretty cool. We were wondering where to have dinner when we stumbled across a place called Franco Manca; they’re a small place, but it was bustling inside. It’s a sourdough pizza place, and they have a limited menu, but it was definitely good value for a tasty pizza – under £6 for the one I had, and I think the most expensive was under £8. They were served under ten minutes from our order, which was great on a time squeeze, and I’d definitely recommend them.

All in all, it was a pretty great night (I even got a uni offer in the interval, though I did smash my knee and have been limping since…), and if any of you are thinking of booking a trip to the West End, Mamma Mia should definitely be in the running.

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