On 6 April, the global smash hit musical MAMMA MIA! celebrated its 15th birthday in London’s West End. Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, stars of iconic band group ABBA who have rarely performed together since the four disbanded in 1982, then joined the cast of MAMMA MIA! in a musical finale at this year’s Olivier Awards as part of the celebrations. The show was televised for the ITV highlights show, broadcast on 13 April. 2014 also marks the 40th anniversary of the start of ABBA’s global success with the release of the hit track ‘Waterloo’.
MAMMA MIA! is Judy Craymer’s ingenious vision of staging the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs with an enchanting tale of family and friendship unfolding on a Greek island. To date, it has been seen by more than 54 million people in 39 productions, in 14 different languages, grossing more than $2 billion at the box office. MAMMA MIA! originally opened in London at the Prince Edward Theatre on 6 April 1999, before transferring to the Prince of Wales Theatre in 2004. The musical re-opened at the Novello Theatre in 2012 and has now extended its booking period to 25 April 2015.
Now a global phenomenon, the London production of MAMMA MIA! has been seen by more than 10% of the entire UK population. The show has celebrated over 6,200 performances in London and has broken box office records in all three of its London homes. In 2011, it became the first Western musical ever to be staged in Mandarin in the People’s Republic of China. This summer, the MAMMA MIA! International Tour will play an exclusive UK Summer Season at the Blackpool Opera House from 20 June to 14 September 2014: Blackpool will be the only UK venue outside of London to host the worldwide hit musical this year.