REVIEW: Jarrow’s Alice Stokoe in Mamma Mia!, Novello Theatre, London

STARRING ROLE ... Jarrow's Alice Stokoe is starring as Sophie in Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre, in London's West End.
STARRING ROLE ... Jarrow's Alice Stokoe is starring as Sophie in Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre, in London's West End.

GIMME, Gimme, Gimme another chance to see Mamma Mia!

The fun-loving show, made up of Abba hits, is sure to have you dancing in the aisles.

It is the West End debut of Jarrow actress Alice Stokoe, who is tremendous in the lead role of Sophie Sheridan.

The show, penned by Abba’s Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, follows Sophie in the run-up to her wedding to drop-dead-gorgeous Sky (Lloyd Green).

Sophie, curious about who her father is, reads the diary her mother Donna (Dianne Pilkington) kept the year she was born, and finds three potential matches.

She invites them all to the Greek island where she is due to be wed in three months, hoping that she’ll know who her dad is the second she lays eyes on him. But of course, it’s not that easy.

Whether you’re an Abba fan or not, you can’t escape their music and the hit songs, including Dancing Queen, I Have A Dream and Super Trouper, are weaved into the storyline perfectly.

Before taking the trip to the West End, I’d only seen the 2008 film version of Mamma Mia!, and I’ll admit, I hated it.

Some poor casting choices, in my view, left the movie a little flat, and because of that, I wasn’t entirely sure that I’d love the show, but I couldn’t have been more wrong.

The stage show is worlds apart from the film – it’s loud, lively, colourful and rip-roaringly exciting.

STARRING ROLE ... Jarrow's Alice Stokoe is starring as Sophie in Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre, in London's West End.

STARRING ROLE ... Jarrow's Alice Stokoe is starring as Sophie in Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre, in London's West End.

Stokoe is absolutely stunning in her West End debut. She spends little time off the stage and the role is quite demanding, but she handles it triumphantly.

Her gorgeous singing voice shines with numbers like Honey, Honey, Lay All Your Love On Me, and Under Attack.

She has great on-stage chemistry with Green and the mother-daughter relationship between herself and Pilkington is wonderful – a striking resemblance gives an added extra.

The set is quite simple, but it’s extremely effective. Subtle changes completely transform the stage and the way the ensemble dance around with props and furnishings looks brilliant.

Stokoe is absolutely stunning in her West End debut. She spends little time off the stage and the role is quite demanding, but she handles it triumphantly.

Choreography is fast, energetic and impressive, with lifts, flips and tricks leaving the audience stunned.

The story is a truly heartwarming one. You can’t help but fall for each of the characters as Sophie tries to discover whether Sam (Richard Trinder), Bill (Charles Daish) or Harry (Alasdair Harvey) is her dad.

Each of the men gave charismatic performances and equally fabulous appearances came from Donna’s friends Rosie (Rebecca Lock) and Tanya (Kim Ismay)

Cougar Tanya’s rendition of Does Your Mother Know was hilarious.

More than 20 Abba hits are packed into the show, but none seem out of place. Yes, it’s a little cheesy, but that’s what it’s all about and everybody loved it.

The finale of the show saw the crowd eagerly rise to their feet to dance and sing along, before showering the cast members in affection during a standing ovation.

STARRING ROLE ... Jarrow's Alice Stokoe is starring as Sophie in Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre, in London's West End.

STARRING ROLE ... Jarrow's Alice Stokoe is starring as Sophie in Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre, in London's West End.

If you’re heading to London and looking for fun, look no further. You’re guaranteed a night of entertainment and laughter with Mamma Mia!

Click here to book tickets.

Twitter: @ShieldsGazVicki

STARRING ROLE ... Jarrow's Alice Stokoe is starring as Sophie in Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre, in London's West End.

STARRING ROLE ... Jarrow's Alice Stokoe is starring as Sophie in Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre, in London's West End.