Review Scene: Mamma Mia! Princess Theatre, 4th October 2023 by Laura Boukouvalas


Mamma Mia! is back in Melbourne. Celebrating ABBA’s much-loved hits with impressive performances and an abundance of joy 

The Melbourne edition of Mamma Mia excels and delivers a high-calibre take on this fun-loving musical. Based on the work of an all-Australian, talented creative team who first developed it for the 2017 production, it is a feast for the senses. 

This high energy production enthralls, thanks to stellar performances and strong chemistry amongst the cast. Sarah Krndija is totally charming as Sophie, the bride-to-be and delivers impressive solos. Elise McCann is compelling as Donna, conveying strong emotion and beautiful solos as Sophie’s rebellious mother.  Martin Crewes, Drew Livingston and Tim Wright are the three hot, linen-clad Dads, who stay true to their characters with charm, charisma and good humour.  Drew Livingston never ceases to amuse as the English Dandy, Harry Bright. Tim Wright is convincing as the free-spirited travel writer and Martin Crewes captures both the dashing charm and lover’s angst of his character Sam Charmichael.  Each deliver a strong solo in the course of the story. 


The steamy, energy-charged scene that accompanies the song ‘Does Your Mother Know’ almost steals the show.  Deone Zanotto plays the glamorously leggy triple divorcée Tanya and Jordan Tomljenovic as bar-tender Pepper deliver an exhilarating performance and the pair don’t cease to impress with their dance prowess.  They seem to carry out thrilling choreography with ease. 

Many more belly laughs follow, including when Bianca Bruce as Rosie performs ‘Take a Chance on Me’ and hams it up in hot pursuit of Tim Wright’s character Bill Austin. 

The original production of MAMMA MIA! opened in London’s West End in 1999 and is still playing there, becoming the sixth longest running show in West End history. Since first wowing audiences and critics, the production has gone on to play in over 50 countries, in over 440 major cities, to over 65 million people. 

Featuring 22 of ABBA’s greatest hits including Gimme Gimme Gimme, Voulez Vous, Dancing Queen, S.O.S and Take a Chance on Me unashamedly strung together in a loose yet entertaining narrative. 

MAMMA MIA! tells the tale of Sophie, a young bride-to-be who, on the eve of her wedding, goes on a quest to discover the identity of her father. Her quest brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years before. What happens next is a magical story of love, laughter and friendship. 

Acutely directed by award-winning director Gary Young, seamless choreography by Tom Hodgson, perfectly cast by Lynne Ruthven, musical supervisor Stephen Amos, set designer Linda Bewick, shout out to costume designer Suzy Strout and glittering lighting design by Gavan Swift and sound design by Michael Waters. Mamma Mia! is produced in Australia by Michael Coppel, Louise Withers and Linda Bewick.   

Originally produced in London by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus (music and lyrics). book by Catherine Johnson, originally conceived by Judy Craymer, additional material & arrangements by Martin Koch. 

There were no bums left on seats by the end as the audience danced and sang along to the encores of Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen and Waterloo. A thoroughly feel-good evening filled with fun, laughter, singing and dancing around ABBA’s fabulous toe-tapping, hits.  Afterall, without a song or a dance what are we? So (we) say ‘Thank you for the music’! 

4th October 2023 – 3rd December 2023 

Princess Theatre 

Official Tickets: