MAMMA MIA Review

By: Mary Collins 4/4/2019

Mamma Mia at Musical theatre in Basel  is in its original language, German.

So, as a native English speaker I was a bit concerned that I wouldn't have a clue what was going on, as I had not seen the movie “Mamma Mia” either. 

One of first scenes immediately raises the audience's expectations when Sophia’s friends Ali and Lisa bounce onto the stage full of jokes and energy.  This works surprisingly well with the tranquil, traditional Greek seaside setting. The girls, Sophie, Ali and Lisa really bring to life the first part of this play with their loving, energetic characters.

The game is afoot when the three men (all potentially Sophie's father) arrive expecting to see Donna when instead are convinced by Sophie to hide and “surprise” Donna later. All three actors perform their characters well; as the banker, Harry Bright, the adventurer and writer Bill Anderson, and the architect Sam Carmichael. There is a noticeable difference in their characters styles and body language. Just as Donna’s two friends, Rosie and Tanya also compliment each other’s characters well, with a difference in personalities and lots of fantastic humour.  

The story is played out through the performers generous expressions and actions. The actors articulate in all dramatic forms very professionally. 

There are plenty of fun scenes and one of my many favourites, is choregraphed and presented creatively, with the use of snorkelling costumes when Sky, Sophie’s fiance is out partying with his guy friends. Sky has a powerful presence both in stature and vocals and his fellow actors support him brilliantly. Singing, dancing, and with their comedic banter, the Bachelor crew are truly some of those most entertaining and enjoyable contributors of the overall production.

The lighting is focused perfectly in each scene as is the dance co-ordination and costumes. I was so impressed with the scene changes (I timed a few), amazed at how fast and smooth each transition was. 

The actors had the audience in fits of laughter and of course, singing along with each memorable ABBA song (which I happily sang along with, in my own English version). Even though the performers represent different age groups and social groups, there are relatable character aspects from all of them, as they emphasise the bonds of friendships and the same relatable dilemmas, like lovers’ rows, playful temptations and parental reflection. 

The way the music of one band, “ABBA” can be intertwined with this barrage of characters, emotions, and storyline is truly genius. This production of “Mamma Mia” will definitely remain one of my favourites, and most popular musicals for years to come.  Absolutely 5 stars and as they say in Swiss German, this performance of Mamma Mia is “top”! 

Donna -Helena Blöcker

Sophie -Katharina Gorgi

Tanja -Betty Vermeulen

Rosie -Barbara Raunegger 

Sam -Karim Khawatmi

Harry -Detlef Leistenschneider

Bill- Jörg Zuch

Sky -Marvin Kobus Schütt

Ali -Livia Wrede

Lisa -Abla Alaoui

Eddie- Timo Muller

Pepper- Brad Corben

Ensemble Damen

Camilla Bates, Marije van Sonsbeek, Enya Oshaug Weibell,

Anneka Dacres, Sanne Groenen, Sanne Buskermolen, Bettina Schurek

Ensemble Herren

Eiko Keller, Tommie Luyben, Peter Knauder,

Kevin Schmid, Marc Schlapp, Oliver Koch, Gerd Achilles

Dirigent/ Conductor

Michael Delhaye  https://www.theapolis.de/de/profil/michael-delhaye

MAMMA MIA Band

Frank Behle, Alberto Cobo Sanchez, Rolf Dieter Mayer,

Anja Maria Lisa Fischer, Julian Hubert, Heiko Radke-Sieb

More info and to book tickets :https://www.musical.ch/en/mammamia