How I Became a West End Star for a Day with Mamma Mia!

Tuesday, 22 March 2022

Being offered the opportunity of being A West End Star for A Day wasn’t something I could easily refuse. The event created by Imagine Experiences is one of many experiences that they are launching. For this five-hour experience, there are a choice of musicals including Tina, the Jersey Boys, and Grease.

I was fortunate to be invited to Mamma Mia whose music once heard, stays in your head. I arrived at the Pineapple studios in Covent Garden, and was shown into a studio where I found twenty other participants, all waiting as apprehensively as me, to see what we were expected to do.

Would I be able to keep up with the dancing? I can’t sing. Would I have to perform in front of all these people? I needn’t have worried. Adam, the Director of Theatre Workout that organises this side of the Experience put us all at our ease with a fun exercise that made us concentrate, and eventually burst into laughter, but more importantly making us all feel connected.

The theme was related to the musical Mamma Mia!, a musical created around the songs from the group Abba. We were given song sheets with the theme song, Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Fortunately, nobody could hear me sing, and although the wall facing us was glassed, everyone was so busy learning their steps that no one noticed anyone else, let alone me!

Our handsome Italian instructor, Livio made us feel at ease, coaching us with performance tips, and continually repeating the steps so we were able to follow him. More often than not, we didn’t or turned the wrong way! Not only did we all land up laughing but by the end of the session we were all talking to each other like old friends.

After an hour and a half of gruelling exercise, we all congratulated each other before being led off to a nearby restaurant, both near the studio and the theatre. In our case, a table was reserved for us at the bustling Real Greek where we feasted on a banquet of Anglo/Greek food and wine. We were then given tickets for the show Mamma Mia, a short walk away at the Novello Theatre in the Aldwych.

Mamma Mia is now in its twenty third year, and still going strong. A really feel-good glitzy story, created on a mythical island in Greece with many of the songs already well-known to the audience.  

Sophie, the daughter is getting married. Having been brought up by her mother Donna, who runs a small hotel, Sophie has never known who her father was. She reads her mother’s diary, and discovers that it must be one of three men. She sends them all invitations to her wedding, and the show opens with all the former lovers arriving, along with two of Donna’s close girlfriends.


Needless to say, not only does Sophie find out who her father is, but he is also there to give her away, and staying on to be with Donna who has remained single. I came home humming the songs as, I am sure, did most of the audience.