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Saturday, 20 June 2015

Bloo's Reviews | Mamma Mia! Int. Tour

"Thank you for the music."

Yesterday evening Eva and I were lucky enough to see the MAMMA MIA! International Tour at the Oddyssey Arena in Belfast. If I'm being honest, I'm not a big fan of ABBA. It conjures memories of long, hot, summer car journeys with my aunt, during which she'd play their greatest hits on repeat. However when my older sister text me to say her friend Graham, who works for the production, had offered Eva and I tickets to see it in Belfast, I jumped at the chance. Mamma Mia! was never a musical I was drawn to. I haven't even seen the film, but I LOVE theatre. More specifically musical theatre. So naturally I jumped at the chance. 

When we got there Graham was waiting to say hi to us. It's been years since we seen him. He went to university with my sister when she was doing her musical theatre degree. She didn't pursue musical theatre after but he's worked with a number of different shows, doing the tech side of things. He offered to take us back stage after the show to let us have a nosy. We weren't sure we'd get the chance but I hoped we would. 

The seats he'd gotten us were amazing. I'd never sat anywhere in the Oddyssey arena other than the usual wheelchair area seating I sit in during ice hockey games. When is pretty high in the stands. Especially if you're seeing something on stage, like when we seen the X Factor tour. This time our seats were on the floor, the third row from the front technically. However, how the seats were arranged meant there was only one row of heads in front of me. We weren't allowed to take photos during the performance but I snuck this photo before it started. Just to show how close we were to the stage.

The whole production was brilliant. I loved how the set on stage was so minimal but they used it really well. The cast were amazing and how they performed ABBA's songs really transformed them and made me love them. I'm not going to lie, I'm still humming them today as I write this. There really is nothing like musical theatre. Niamh Perry played Sophie. She looked familiar but I couldn't place her. Graham later mentioned she was actually from my home town, Bangor. And my dad remembered she'd been on TV on I'd Do Anything. She was such a talent and a joy to watch. Another surprise was Shobna Gulati as Tanya. I mean, I ain't a big Corrie fan but even I recognise Sunita. Her voice was incredible. Much like all of the cast who were over all really strong and many of them weren't bad on the eye either. You can tell they were really pandering to the many middle aged women in the audience when all the fit young guys came out in tight, open wetsuits, showing off their hairless, sculpted, tanned chests. Felt like I was seeing Magic Mike at some points. But I digress. The whole show was amazing and I'd even see it again if it were ever to come back around. Especially if it was at the Oddyssey again. The Opera House has an told, traditional feel that can be amazing but it can also feel a little claustrophobic and the wheelchair seating can suck a little.

After the show ended Graham came to us to see how we liked it and if we wanted to take a peek back stage. Dad wasn't there to pick us up yet so after we waited to make sure there was nobody back stage, getting dressed etc he took us back. It was weird. Not really how I imagine back stages. I guess you could kind of say it felt makeshift. Which makes sense since the whole stage was built on the arena floor where the ice usually is. Then there was all their trunks etc for all their equipment and their costumes and where they got changed. It was easy to imagine how hectic it was back there during the show. And kind of weird to think we were sitting just out front and what was behind the stage, essentially just behind a curtain. I also took the chance to touch the sides of the rink, imagining how my favourite hockey players had touched it too. That might seem weird to you lot but I'd never been that close to the ice before, regardless whether the ice was actually there or not.

Graham walked us out to meet our dad after and he was telling us about all the places they'd been with the tour, like South Africa and the Middle East. Who knew ABBA travelled so far? 

So yeah, as you can probably tell it was a great evening and I enjoyed myself so much. Eva did too. I feel so incredibly thankful that Graham gave us the opportunity to go and that now when I think of ABBA I don't think of sticky, hot, long care journeys but an incredible musical production and evening.


  1. Oh I love musicals!! Your so lucky xx

    1. It was an awesome night. I felt very lucky! :) xo


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