MUSIC theatre performers Natalie O’Donnell, Jayde Westaby and Alicia Gardiner all loved being in productions of Mammia Mia! The Musical before, so it is no wonder they returned for more.
Although this time they are a little older, which makes them perfect for the fabulous trio of Sophie’s mother Donna (O’Donnell) and her best friends Tanya (Westaby) and Rosie (Gardiner).
WAAPA graduate O’Donnell had previously played Sophie in the original Australian cast 17 years ago alongside Gardiner as her bridesmaid Ali, while Westaby also played Ali in another production.
“It was essentially about getting to the age where you’re right to play one of those three amazing characters,” O’Donnell, married to Les Miserables performer Simon Gleeson, said.
“We’ve all reminisced and reflected but because we’re coming to it from a different perspective, you see it through really different eyes.
“There were things about the show I hadn’t even noticed or taken for granted last time. And thanks to the movie, this time around we’re having four generations of a family come to see our show.”
Gardiner, a familiar face for Offspring viewers, agreed and said motherhood had also changed their perspective on the musical inspired by Abba songs.
“We’re all mums now since the first time and the show in that respect takes a different meaning as well,” Gardiner said.
Westaby said she had always had one eye on the role of the flirty and fabulous Tanya but was even more excited by the prospect of this latest Australian production featuring new choreography, set, costume and direction.
However what remains the same is that wonderful Abba music weaving through the story of Sophie inviting her three prospective fathers to her wedding.
There is also that strong, independent, free-spirited link at the core of Donna, Tanya and Rosie’s friendship, which 20 years ago saw them tour as singing group Donna and the Dynamos.
“All three of us are aware that we’re a representation of lots of women, so when they come and see the show, I feel that’s a privilege,” O’Donnell said.
“You can have whatever day you want outside the show, but every night when we get to do the bedroom scene, it’s kind of like therapy.
“We live out this fantasy on stage with us jumping on beds singing into hairbrushes and all those things you want to do in everyday life and then at the end of the show people do get to express themselves in that way.
“I defy even the hardest cynic not to get up and dance at the end of the show.”
Community News has 10 double passes to give away to Mamma Mia! at Crown Theatre Perth on Tuesday, May 15. Enter here by 10am, Friday, April 20.
What: Mamma Mia! The Musical
Where: Crown Theatre Perth
When: May 15 to July 1