51 PHOTOS: Mamma Mia cast Abba-solutely loving show
TICKETS to the highly anticipated Bundaberg Playhouse Theatre production of Mamma Mia go on sale this weekend and the cast and crew have been tirelessly rehearsing for the theatre's first show of the year.
The cast took to the stage on Thursday night for rehearsals and there was no shortage of passion, laughter, dance and ABBA classics sung out of the local Playhouse.
For ensemble cast members Jacob Treloar and Boen Robertson, the theatre was essentially their second home and everyone involved was their second family.
Having worked on multiple shows, the most recent being Mary Poppins, they said it was the people who kept them coming back.
"I love the community that we have here at the Playhouse," Robertson said.
"I love hanging out with everyone during rehearsals and then when the show comes around it's a great feeling performing, no matter what show it is."
He said a lot of work went into creating a show but it always paid off in the end.
Getting to wear flippers in the dance number for Lay All Your Love on Me, he said it was his favourite.
While there had been some near accidents, he's managed to stay upright for the most part.
Treloar said the energy for the end of act 1 with Voulez-Vous made it his favourite to perform.
He said there was always a good time to be had, new people to meet and new stories to tell.
Also staring in the production and praising the talented cast for their efforts in what has been described as a vocally challenging show, is Andy McLucas and Taylah Halpin.
The two take on the roles of lovers and Sky and Sophie in Mamma Mia and said the entire cast had been amazing to work with.
They said this show was unique in the fact that the ensemble were singing in just about every number.
Mr McLucas said his wife, Christie McLucas, was also in the production playing Tanya, one of the leading ladies.
He said initially he was going to play guitar for the show, but when he found out they were using a backing track, he decided to put his name forward for the auditions.
Ms Halpin said she had been involved in the Playhouse for a number of years and she was "super-duper excited" when she heard they were doing Mamma Mia.
"I love the character Sophie and I've watched the movie so many times growing up" she said.
"I just love her, and I thought it would be a really perfect way to start of my senior theatre years."
Ms Halpin said Voulez-Vous while fun was challenging to sing because of how dance heavy was on top of dialogue
Mr McLucas said people looking to watch the show should do so early because it would book out.
Decked out in dungarees, Jenn Ritchie is embodying the leading role of Donna in the show.
Ms Ritchie said they had been rehearsing three times a week since early January and in one rehearsal on a Saturday the leads blocked the whole show.
She said everyone had been working hard to bring the production to life.
"Hats off to the ensemble, it's insane, they're in every song, they're on the stage for the whole entire show, whereas we kind of get to come and go and do the odd little bit," she said.
Getting to work with people she's worked with on Les Miserables, Mary Poppins and new people, Ms Ritchie said already it's been a great production to be a part of.
Having done several shows last year, Ms Ritchie said in Mamma Mia she's not getting dolled up in various wings and make-up.
"Every other role I've been on, I've been either been covered in dirt and I ended up with skinned knees because I got flung about the stage," she said.
"And in Mary Poppins I got pretty for about 30 seconds and then I was in my old lady get-up."
Coming in to this show, Ms Ritchie said one of the aspects of the show she had been working on was portraying the relationship between Donna and Sam, played by Michael Dart.
While they've worked together before she said the dynamic was very different in this show.
She said getting to perform Chiquitita and Dancing Queen alongside Christie McLucas and Jedidah Morley were some her favourite numbers in the show.
Two of the ladies in Mamma Mia's ensemble ready to sing their hearts out, are Alana Clark and Ally Wilson.
Ms Wilson said having predominantly only participated in Youth Theatre, High School Musical and Legally Blonde, with her first senior production being Mary Poppins, she wanted to challenge herself with another big musical.
"It's such a good opportunity for me to be in (Mamma Mia)," she said.
Since joining the Playhouse last year, Ms Clark said it was like a family for me.
"I've never danced before, I've never done this sort of things before, it's more about experience for me, building those friendships as well as singing some great music," she said.
Both Ms Clark and Ms Wilson may not be on stage for every scene, but they are singing every song; whether it's on stage, up on the balcony or down in the pit they are apart of it all.
Ms Clark said the eight-part harmonies sounded great in the show.
The show's director Rebecca Hutchins said rehearsal for Mamma Mia had been filled with laughter and real sense of excitement as they prepared to bring this musical with all the ABBA hits to the Playhouse stage.
"We hope this is a memorable show for everyone, audience and cast alike," she said.
"With the box office opening on the weekend we can sense the excitement as the production enters its final stage of rehearsals.
"With incredible talent, many of whom it's it their first show, opening night can't come quick enough."
The Playhouse is putting on a huge 12 shows, the first of which will be on March 20.
You can book your tickets from 10am on Sunday.
Adult tickets are $33, student tickets are $30 and group of 10+ tickets cost $28.
The theatre is at 2B Steffensen St.