Mamma Mia! musical coming to Dubai in January 2015

Based around ever-popular music of the Swedish pop group ABBA, the stage musical Mamma Mia! was a smash hit from the moment it debuted in London's West End in 1999. Now it is coming to Dubai from January 2 to 10.
The men of the troupe dancing during the show. Courtesy Mamma Mia
The men of the troupe dancing during the show. Courtesy Mamma Mia

Based around the ever-popular music of the Swedish pop group Abba, the stage musical Mamma Mia! was a smash hit from the moment it debuted in London’s West End in 1999.

Productions have been staged around the globe – it has been claimed that on any given day, there are at least seven performances worldwide – and star-studded film adaptation followed in 2008.

Now the stage show is coming to Dubai World Trade Centre, from January 2 to 10, with husband-and-wife actors Sara Poyzer and Richard Standing playing Donna Sheridan and Sam Carmichael in the feel-good story set on a Greek Island.

We caught up with Poyzer to find out about the show, the thrill of romancing her husband on stage every night, and why the film and stage versions should not be compared.

Was being cast together for this production a coincidence?

aSort of, yes. I was in Mamma Mia! in London at the time and Richard had auditioned for it previously. But the tour has a different creative team, so we both had to audition again. Many of them didn’t know we were married so we didn’t have any unfair advantage or disadvantage. Richard found out he’d got the part and then an hour or so later I did, too. We celebrated that day.

Before the musical, were you an ABBA fan?

Yes. My dad bought me the ABBA greatest hits album when I was around 10 years old and I’ve like them ever since.

Why do you think songs by the band are a perfect fit for a musical?

Not only are they beautiful, surprisingly complex and memorable both lyrically and melodically, they are also storytelling songs. They have a dramatic content that moves the story along or gives us new information. Perfect for a musical.

What has been your most memorable moment on stage?

There have been so many, too many to count. We get married every night! It’s quite surreal and wonderful, too.

What’s the best and challenging part of playing Donna?

Not only do I get to sing some of ABBA’s most iconic songs, the role is challenging from an acting perspective. Donna has a wonderful arc to her story in the show and there is plenty for me to get my teeth into. I always want to do my best and that means sacrifices in order to remain show fit. I’m not as young as the other cast members, so I get pretty tired. But it’s hard work that I love.

What’s it like dressing up in some of the 70s flashy ABBA-style outfits?

Fantastic! They may not be the most comfortable costumes to wear as they’re heavy and constricting, but it’s worth it.

The musical is celebrating 15 years. What has changed over the years?

I think the wonderful thing about Mamma Mia! is its consistency. It’s a show that is the same around the world, yet it’s entirely different! Each actor is allowed to interpret the roles in their own way, giving the show a freshness and vitality.

Thoughts about performing in Dubai?

I’m incredibly excited about our visit. Every city brings with it a different energy. The audience keeps us on our toes. I always love sampling local cuisine so I’m really looking forward to that.

For people who have watched the movie, how would you sell the stage production?

The film is fantastic, but hearing the songs of ABBA played and sung live is so much more exciting. There are also some extra treats in the stage version that aren’t in the film.

• From January 2 to 10, Dubai World Trade Centre, tickets start from Dh195, exclusively on sale at www.plantinumlist.com

aahmed@thenational.ae

Published: December 27, 2014 04:00 AM

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