When the curtain rises next week for Mama Mia! the audience is sure to be tapping their toes and singing along to the music of ABBA.
A group of talented students at Ballenas Senior Secondary School (BSS) have been busy rehearsing the production, one of the world’s most popular musicals.
Mama Mia! is the ultimate feel-good show and when Doug Campbell’s students suggested it for this year’s production, the Ballenas theatre teacher agreed it was perfect for his young thespians.
“Two students came to me last year and said, we’d really like to do this show, and I thought yeah … we have the to cast to do this … we have the right personnel and sure enough we put it all together. We have been rehearsing since September and it’s been good,” Campbell said.
Campbell has been directing students at BSS for 12 years now and he acknowledged that each year he is impressed with the level of acting and singing, and he’s thrilled at how it magically comes together.
The storytelling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs including The Winner Takes It All, Super Trouper and Take a Chance on Me propels the enchanting tale of love, laughter and friendship in Mama Mia! and Campbell agreed his cast has really embraced the underlying message of the musical.
He said he is confident his students will deliver another stellar production in the Whalebone Theatre.
“Every single person in the cast has committed 100 per cent to it and they do it for each other. We try to foster a lot of team work, team building and co-operation and these guys are a pretty good team now. They put in the extra time for each other because they don’t want to let each other down and that is why you get a good play every year.”
Mama Mia! is the story of a daughter named Sophie (played by Alex McCoy), of a once-rebellious single mother Donna (played by Delaney Gunn). Sophie longs to discover the identity of her true father before she exchanges her wedding vows. Sophie secretly invites a trio of paternal candidates to her upcoming wedding. When Sophie walks down the aisle on that fateful day, she wants her father to hand her off.
The only problem is that Donna has never revealed the true identity of Sophie’s father, leaving the resourceful future bride to narrow the list down to three potential candidates.
Campbell admitted that Mama Mia! is a modern day play with some mature subject matter but he assures it is a production the whole family will enjoy.
“We toned down some of the language. There were some lines I wasn’t quite comfortable with for a school (play) so we changed them … but you know most plays when you are dealing with real life you are going to come across things that are some what difficult and challenging but if it is true to the character then I think its valid and those are the issues the characters are wrestling with,” he explained.
Tickets for Mama Mia! can be purchased at the door. The price for students is $5, adults $10 and a family is $20.
The shows Feb. 25, 26, 27 and 28 start at 7 p.m.