All You Need To Know About Mamma Mia! In London

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Now also an internationally recognised movie phenomenon and absolutely packed with ABBA's greatest hits, how can anyone resist the incredible feelgood musical Mamma Mia? Set on the sun-kissed Greek island of Kalokairi, this upbeat, feelgood show focusses on a young woman who discovers some hidden family secrets just before her wedding day. Mamma Mia! is one of London's longest-running musicals, and for over two decades, audiences in the West End have said "Thank You For The Music" and let loose their inner "Dancing Queen!"  Here's our complete guide as to what to expect from the West End production which is still packing them in every night at the Novello Theatre.

What is the musical Mamma Mia! about?

Sophie is a young woman who has a dream. She dreams that when she gets married to her fiancé, Sky, she wants to be walked down the aisle by her father. There is just one tiny snag.  She doesn't actually know who he is! After discovering that there's three different men who could potentially be her dad she decides to invite all of them to the wedding. Hiding her plan from her mother Donna, Sophie interrogates all three men to try to work out her paternal heritage. But it's not easy to hide on this small Greek island for long and eventually Donna stumbles across her three old flames. But who is the father? Shaken up by the news, Sophie and Sky begin to wonder if marriage is really is for them? Don't worry though, as in this show,  Love really does conquer all and in a grandstand finish there's a surprise wedding for all to enjoy.

Blossoming romances aside, there's plenty of other friendly reunions as Donna reunites with her friends the 'Dynamos', who take over proceedings to relive their youth, all set to a lively soundtrack of ABBA hits. Mamma Mia! has gone on to popularise the Swedish band for a whole new generation.

When was the premiere of Mamma Mia?

The musical first opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre on April 6th 1999, where it enjoyed a run of just over five years before transferring to the Prince of Wales Theatre on June 9th 2004.  Mamma Mia moved once again to its current location at the Novello Theatre September 6th. 2012.

Mamma Mia premiered in North America the year after the West End production, opening first in Toronto in May 2000 before eventually opening on Broadway at the Winter Garden Theatre on October 18th. 2001, where it enjoyed a 12 year run before transferring onto the Broadhurst Theatre. The show finally closed on Broadway on September 12th. 2015.

Who wrote the musical Mamma Mia!?

The musical Mamma Mia! has an original book by British writer, Catherine Johnson. Mamma Mia! is to date her only West End playwriting credit, however she does have further London fringe theatre credits which include 'Little Baby Nothing' and 'Shang-a-Lang' which showcased at the Bush Theatre.

Aside from the stage production of Mamma Mia!, Johnson also wrote the screenplays for the musical's movie adaptation and also the subsequent sequel.

Who wrote the songs featured in Mamma Mia!?

Both lyrics and music in Mamma Mia! were written by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. Mamma Mia! was Andersson's second West End musical, having previously composed songs for the production 'Chess' that had a successful run at the Prince Edward Theatre. Mamma Mia! features no new songs though, as the production is a jukebox musical packed with ABBA hits.

Which West End theatre in London does Mamma Mia! play at?

Mamma Mia! plays at the Novello Theatre, where it has been the resident show since 2012. The theatre first opened in 1905, and is named after the Welsh composer Ivor Novello, who actually owned a flat above the theatre. 

What is the running time for the musical Mamma Mia!?

The running time of the London production of Mamma Mia! in London is 2 hours and 35 minutes, which includes a 15 minute interval.

What songs are featured in Mamma Mia!?

It is a good bet that pretty much every theatregoer will recognise the songs in the musical, as they've all been released by ABBA. Here's a breakdown of all the songs in Mamma Mia! below:

Act 1

"Honey, Honey" 
"Money, Money, Money" 
"Thank You for the Music" 
"Mamma Mia" 
"Chiquitita" 
"Dancing Queen" 
"Lay All Your Love on Me" 
"Super Trouper" 
"Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)" 
"The Name of the Game" 
"Voulez-Vous" 

Act 2

"Under Attack" 
"One of Us" 
"SOS"
"Does Your Mother Know" 
"Knowing Me, Knowing You" 
"Our Last Summer" 
"Slipping Through My Fingers" 
"The Winner Takes It All" 
"Take a Chance on Me" 
"I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do, I Do"
"I Have a Dream" 
"Mamma Mia" 
"Dancing Queen" 
"Waterloo" 


Is there a movie adaptation of the musical Mamma Mia!?

A movie adaptation of the Mamma Mia! musical was released back in 2008, which featured an all-star cast including Meryl Streep, Amanda Seyfried, Christine Baranski, and Julie Waters. The key male actors in the movie were played by Dominic Cooper, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Forth and Stellan Skarsgård. Mixing the feelgood music of ABBA along with a star-studded line-up was always going to be a guaranteed box office smash, and the film quickly became one of the most successful movies of the 2000s. A sequel was released in 2018, starring Lily James as a young Donna Sheridan.

Some fun facts about Mamma Mia!

Phyllida Lloyd directed both the West End production as well as the two movie adaptations of Mamma Mia!.

Mamma Mia! has to date been seen by over 50 million people around the world.

400 metres of Lycra are used to create the 'Super Trouper' outfits..

How can I book tickets for Mamma Mia! in London?

Tickets to Mamma Mia are currently available to book either online through Theatretickets-London.co.uk or direct from the box office at the theatre.

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