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Mamma Mia! The Party 

The O2


Mamma Mia! The Party

Mamma Mia! The Party

The O2

Visited – September 2019


“you’d have to be the grumpiest stick-in-the-mud not to be swept along by the euphoria of the evening”


The phenomenal success of the Mamma Mia! stage show, which opened in London in 1999 is almost folklore now. Seen by more than 65 million people in over 450 cities and in 16 languages it was followed by the successful film, starring Meryl Street and Amanda Seyfried in 2008. Filmed on location on the small Greek island of Skopelos, it is perhaps one of the most ‘feel-good’ movies ever produced. At the end of each day’s filming the cast and crew would walk the narrow, winding alleys towards the harbour and have dinner in one of the tavernas. A favourite was one that looked out onto the Aegean Sea, run by Nikos, a widower with a young daughter. As the sun set and the moon rose, love blossomed and Nikos fell in love with Kate, the film’s costume designer. The rest is history, as they say. Although not quite – this is all in the imagination of Björn Ulvaeus (one quarter of ABBA and creator of Mamma Mia! The Party).

But imagine visiting Nikos’ Taverna under the tinted glow of a Grecian sunset twelve years later. The attention that the film bestowed on Skopelos is evident in the restaurant’s success; Nikos has enlisted quite a few hired hands including his now blossoming daughter, his wayward English nephew, an accident-prone chef and a host of all dancing, all playing, all singing waiters and waitresses. It’s hard to imagine, as you step out into the drizzle at North Greenwich Underground, that this oasis exists behind a sunburnt door tucked away in the O2. For four hours you leave your troubles behind and bathe in the bougainvillea scented air like you’ve just wandered off the beach and the night is yours. And what a night: a feast for all the senses. When not singing, the waiters bring you plates of Tzatziki, Spanakopita, Kleftiko, Yiachni, Baklava and Briam. You don’t understand what it means but it is delicious. And you don’t understand the show either, but you don’t care; you’re too busy loving every minute of it. As an ‘interactive dining experience’ it puts all other immersive theatre to shame. The scale is epic but the attention to detail is intimate.

But let’s not forget what this is all about. Three dozen Abba songs are rolled out between the courses. But don’t let that put you off. Even if you’re not a fan you’d have to be the grumpiest stick-in-the-mud not to be swept along by the euphoria of the evening. It starts off as a bit of fun but descends into spectacular chaos. High-brow it ain’t – but if you love Abba (and, yes, I’m including all those who pretend not to), and if you like a bit of escapism and fun then this is the show for you. It doesn’t come cheap but it’s worth every drachma.


Article and main photograph by Jonathan Evans


Mamma Mia The Party

Mamma Mia! The Party

The O2 until 16th February




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Edinburgh 2018 – Top Five Shows

Our reviewer Claire Minnitt had a whistle-stop visit to this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, here’s her top five shows she managed to see …


It’s that time of year once again, where the majestic city of Edinburgh is brimming with an immense assortment of creative endeavours from all over the world. Regular Fringe-goers have their own method of navigating through thousands of shows, many meticulously sticking to an almost militaristic itinerary. Whilst this may work for some, I have to say such methodology does not suit me and I therefore vowed this year to enjoy my brief five-day visit by basing my show choices purely on recommendations from friends, those who successfully pitched along the Mile and ones I simply stumbled across by sheer chance. Hence, here are my following Top 5 Edinburgh Fringe 2018 shows in no particular order.




Who: SKaGeN/KVS, Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan Productions, TRP, Summerhall

When: 12:00 / Aug 19, 21-26

Where: Summerhall (Venue 26)


Today we give you the all-time politician: the power junkie, rogue, strategist, but also the husband, father and in the end, the very lonely human’

Originally titled ‘Onbezongen’ before being directly translated from Flemish into English for the Fringe, Unsung is an innovative piece exploring the ‘DNA of the politician.’ Taking inspiration from an array of existing political figures Valentijn Dhaenens presents the audience with in-depth view of the life of a politician. Unsung has been incredibly successful in Belgium and has now continues to captivate Edinburgh audiences.


Hot Gay Time Machine


Who: Zak Ghazi-Torbatti, Toby Marlow and Lucy Moss

When: 22:00 / Aug 19-26

Where: Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61)


‘Hot Gay Time Machine covers all the most important moments in a gay man’s life, from coming out to your mum to trying not to look at cocks in the locker room. So what are you waiting for? Gay marriage? Well, we got that already so come party with the gays’ 

Returning after an award-winning debut at the Fringe last year, Hot Gay Time Machine takes the audience on the most intensely musical journey through all the milestones in a gay man’s life. This incredibly cheeky show is bursting with energy, countless laughs and copious amounts of fun. It’s a guaranteed party-starter equipped with a beautiful poignancy that tackles important LGBT issues.




Who: Kenny Wax and Global Musicals

When: 15:30, 19:30 / Aug 19-27

Where: Underbelly, George Square (Venue 300)


‘Divorced. Beheaded. Live in concert!’

Whilst previously reviewed by earlier this year, it was such a joy to see this show in one of the Fringe’s more prominent venues. The original show has already made quite an impact at this year’s festival, and subsequently will immediately be transferred to London’s Arts Theatre at the end of the month. Six reclaims the stories of Henry VIII’s wives and is retold through a series of original songs in the forum of a pop concert.

Think Little Mix meets Horrible Histories but much, MUCH better! It’s definitely not one to miss.

Six is at the Arts Theatre, London from 30th August until 23rd September, click on image below for further details

Lola and Jo: Focus Groupies


Who: Berk’s Nest

When: 16:00 / Aug 19-26

Where: Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61)


‘Research purpose only; no refreshments, travel reimbursements or life-affirming insights. Laughter not guaranteed’ 

Lola and Jo are the ultimate female comedy duo you had no idea you needed in your life until you see one of their shows. Focus Groupies is a cleverly written sketch-show with an abundance of laughs, drizzled with the perfect amount of audience participation. It was so enjoyable that I felt obliged to drag my friends who had not yet been just so I could see it for a second time!


The Durham Revue present: Zeitgeist


Who: The Durham Revue

When: 13:20 / Aug 19 – 26

Where: Underbelly, Cowgate (Venue 61)


‘Known for their irreverent style and peerless chemistry, they are ‘highly professional, wonderfully witty and perfectly paced’’ 

It is a universal fact that there is no shortage of sketch comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe however, well-established student group, The Durham Revue in many ways rises above the others. Their sketches are punchy, topical and often beautifully bizarre. Additionally, it’s rather refreshing to a see a young comedy group with strong performances from both the female and male members. With performances in the early afternoon it’s certainly a perfect start to your typical Fringe day.


Recommendations by Claire Minnitt


Edinburgh Festival Fringe

until 27th August