ABBA Ė The Mamma Mia! Story

Louise Gold appeared along with fellow Mamma Mia London Production Cast 3 Dynamos as Tanya in a clip of Dancing Queen, first screened on ITV 1 on Thursday 3 July 2008


Appearances By... Featuring

Benny Andersson (Songwriter & Pop Star)

Piers Brosnan (Film Actor Ė as a member of the Mamma Mia Film Cast, playing Sam Carmichael)

Judy Craymer (Theatre Producer)

Colin Firth (Film Actor Ė as a member of the Mamma Mia Film Cast, playing Harry Bright)

Paul Gambaccini (Broadcaster)

Catherine Johnson (Writer)

Phyllida Lloyd (Theatre Director)

Cameron Mackintosh (Theatre Producer)

Meryl Streep (Film Actress Ė as a member of the Mamma Mia Film Cast, playing Donna Sheridan)

Bjorn Ulvaeus (Songwriter & Pop Star)

Anthony Van Laast (Choreographer)

Louis Walsh (Music Person)

Julie Walters (Film Actress Ė as a member of the Mamma Mia Film Cast, playing Rosie)


Appearances By ... Also Include:

ABBA themselves (Anni-Frid Lingstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and, Agnetha Faltskog)

A Cast of Chess (possibly original London)

Christine Borarski (as a member of the Mamma Mia Film Cast, playing Tanya)

Dominic Cooper (as a member of the Mamma Mia Film Cast, playing Sky)


Louise Gold (as a member of Mamma Mia London Production Cast 3, also Cast 2, playing Tanya)

Leona from X Factor


Mamma Mia Film (including: Christine Borarski, Piers Brosnan, Dominic Cooper, Colin Firth, Philip Michael, Amanda Seyfried, Meryl Streep, and Julie Walters along with the rest of the film cast)

Mamma Mia Holland Cast

Mamma Mia International Touring Cast

Mamma Mia Korean Cast

Mamma Mia Original London Cast (in rehearsal)

Mamma Mia London Production Cast 3 (in particular: Louise Plowright, with Louise Gold, and, Lesley Nicol, recorded February 2002)

Mamma Mia Norwegian Cast

Mamma Mia Swedish Cast

Philip Michael (as a member of the Mamma Mia Film Cast, playing Pepper)

Kylie Minogue

Lesley Nicol (as a member of Mamma Mia London Production Cast 3, also Cast 2, playing Rosie)

Louise Plowright (as a member of Mamma Mia London Production Cast 3, also Casts1, 2, 4 & 5, playing Donna Sheridan)

Amanda Seyfried (as a member of the Mamma Mia Film Cast, playing Sophie Sheridan)



Production Team



In addition to both clips of ABBAís own performances and those from the film version of the musical Mamma Mia, this documentary featured clips of various Mamma Mia casts performing the ABBA songs. Louise Gold appeared with fellow Mamma Mia London Production Cast 3 Dynamos Louise Plowright and Lesley Nicol in a clip from February 2002 of Dancing Queen.

Judy Craymer of course is the producer of the stage version of Mamma Mia, which was written by Catherine Johnson with music by Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, directed by Phyllida Lloyd, and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast.

ABBA (Anni-Frid Lingstad, Bjorn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and, Agnetha Faltskog ) themselves, as well as Judy Craymeralso feature in ABBA The Reunion, as does some footage of both the Mamma Mia Original London Cast, and the Mamma Mia London Production Cast 3 (with Dynamos Louise Plowright, Louise Gold, and, Lesley Nicol), this was also first broadcast on ITV 1. The programme was also produced by Judy Craymer.

Judy Craymer, Catherine Johnson, Phyllida Lloyd, and, Bjorn Ulvaeus appeared on A Week In The West End which featured several excerpts of the Mamma Mia London Production Cast 3 Dynamos (Louise Plowright, Louise Gold, and, Lesley Nicol) in action, including a long one of them performing Dancing Queen, and some of Louise Plowright performing The Winner Takes It All. Cameron Mackintosh also appeared in the programme.

Mamma Mia London Production Cast 2, in particular the Dynamoís: Louise Plowright, Louise Gold, and, Lesley Nicol had also appeared on Jim Davidson Presents performing Dancing Queen, only on that occasion they did it as their finale version of the song.

Cameron Mackintosh was also involved with Dear Ralph, and, Mary Poppins, he appeared in the Side By Side By Sondheim 30th Anniversary Gala.

Erasure appeared on Roland Rat Ė The Series. They may also have taken part in Thing A Thon.

The Ghost Of Faffner Hall, The Bill, Up The Garden Path, Spitting Image: Must See TV, Best Ever Spitting Image, ITVís 50 Greatest Shows, and, Coronation Street were also first broadcast on ITV1.

Piers Brosnan appeared in a clip and was mentioned on The Wonderful World Of Puppets.




Summary/ Review

by Emma Shane, 13 July 2008††††††††††

From an unpromising listings guide listing, a surprisingly decent documentary, with a wide range of clips to suit many different viewers. This documentary although clearly made to promote the forthcoming film, fortunately includes a great deal more than just clips of ABBA and clips from the new film of Mamma Mia!. There is a good deal of footage from various productions of the stage show.

A variety of people, mainly involved with the film, are interviewed, of particular interest is Phyllida Lloyd with the filmís unusual story-board (she did it herself), and two very recent interviews with Bjorn and Benny. Meanwhile Catherine Johnson and Judy Cramer also talk a lot of sense, and mention some of the background to both the stage show and now the film. While there are the obligatory to promote the new film interviews with some of itís stars; and a rather nice one from the showís choreographer Anthony Van Laast, who reveals that he didnít use much actual ABBA choreography, except for that one classic hand gesture.

The clips are a real delight. Naturally there are quite a number from the new film. And itís an interesting opportunity to get a taste for the film, although they didnít make me want to watch it. I liked the stage show too much, and in particular Louise Plowrightís portrayal of Donna. I also found Julie Waltersís drunk act version of Take A Chance On Me unappealing, although she has every right to do it that way if she wants to for it is not wrong itís just not to my taste. The best of the three is the clip of Christine Boraskiís Does Your Mother Know (and even that isnít quite as good vocally as original London Cast Album, but then the latter eclipsed even ABBAís own recording). Still itís good to see some clips from the film to know that it wouldnít appeal to me, but it may well appeal to others, it depends on how you feel about the stage show. There are of course quite a lot of clips from ABBA themselves, and itís interesting to compare all the other clips to these. Of added interest are a few clips of other pop groups doing covers of ABBA songs. But the real surprise of this documentary is just what a variety of clips it includes from different stage productions of Mamma Mia. The original cast get little look in, apart from a few brief rehearsal clips, were they under represented? Well perhaps, but then again there is one member of the original cast who pops up in a couple of other clips as a member of a subsequent cast... There are quite a lot of clips from the International Touring cast, this will please the fans of that cast, I did find those clips more fun than the film, and evidence of the showís durability, but still lacking a certain something. By far the funniest bunch of clips were those from the various international casts from different countries. Some of these were clips from the show itself and some from auditions. Itís bizarre hearing ABBA sung in so many different languages, quite surreal. And there I was thinking that an audience sing-a-long of Dancing Queen in Japanese (in a certain Muppeteerís cabaret act) was bizarre, these clips were far weirder!

The most unexpected delight among the clips however, in my humble opinion, just has to be that of London Cast 3. This started in a quite unlikely way, with a discussion of the song The Winner Takes It All, in which it is explained this song is key to the whole show. Earlier there had been a clip of Meryl Streep singing it. Now to introduce it first we had the original ABBA version, but while the various personnel talked about this song, I couldnít help thinking ďOh if only they had Louise Plowrightís version of itĒ And lo and behold thatís exactly the clip they put on (from February 2002). Itís so perfect a performance of that song. She makes it very much her own, ABBA themselves could barely match it, and Meryl Streepís version though ok, just doesnít have the kind of forthright power and shear passion of Louise Plowrightís very impressive performance. The Winner Takes It All is mentioned as being a great torch song. Well when it comes to doing big vitriolic revenge torch songs, no one does them like Louise Plowright does. She has an extraordinary talent for being able to sing this kind of song brilliantly. And then if that were not delight enough, we had a clip, also from February 2002 (A Week In The West End) of Cast 3ís delightful dynamos digging the Dancing Queen in the bedroom scene. This clip seemed to be from a slightly different camera angle from that shown in A Week In The West End, though itís clearly the same footage. It starts quite tightly in on Louise Gold singing the verse, very enthusiastically, and yet at the same time careful not to go too far and camp it up. Louise Gold is one of the most skilful comic singer-actresses there is, and she knows exactly how far it is acceptable to go. Lesley Nicol provides very able back up, while Louise Plowright demonstrates what a superb portrayal she did of Donna in this scene, catching the subtlety of the character to perfection, and looking like she was enjoying the number, as well she should with those co-stars. This clip is a wonderful frolic, but itís so skilfully played by all three actresses that is never descends into complete camp silliness, it never goes too far over the top. And that is a testimony to its fine sensible actresses.

So a surprisingly worth watching documentary, which didnít have too much repeat footage or facts, and of the repeat footage that was there is was stuff that was there it was stuff well worth repeating (one can never tire of Louise Plowirghtís Donna Ė she played the part for four years in the West End, after originating the role of Tanya). Iím so glad to have seen it


Links about ABBA Ė The Mamma Mia! Story

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