Take a chance on Mamma Mia in Northampton

Mamma Mia from the 2016-17 tour

Mamma Mia from the 2016-17 tour

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Gimme gimme gimme tickets after midnight as they go on sale for the ABBA musical coming to Northampton.

The much loved Mamma Mia can be seen at the Royal & Derngate from Tuesday January 23 to Saturday February 3 next year.

The enchanting tale of family and friendship unfolding on a Greek island paradise has been a West End and global phenomenon.

But with such a fan base for both ABBA and Mamma Mia, you would expect the lead actress to be the first to know all the words.

Helen Hobson, who plays Donna, said: "There were a lot of people who know all of the songs inside and out. When I did it for the first time, we were rehearsing and performed Waterloo, I was out of step with everyone and I didn't know the words much to my shame. I've learnt them all since but came to this show as an outsider."

She has plenty of form with the role having played on and off since 2004 in locations as glamourous as Taiwan, Kuala Lumpur and Birningham, she jokes.

The 2016-17 tour of Mamma Mia.

The 2016-17 tour of Mamma Mia.

Helen added: "The role of Donna has become iconic since the movie since Meryl Streep played it, it is an absolute thrill to be asked to play it again for this tour. I'm going off to some new places for the tour including Northampton.

"The biggest challenge us that it is a big part, the leading part in the show. She's on the stage a lot of the time and it is a big musical. There is not a lot of respite. So much so that there will be another lady Kay Millbourne who will play my part for one of the eight performances during the week long run.

"But you do your best to stay in shape, eat write. This is a show that generates so much love that you have to give it your all."

Does the fanbase add an extra pressure?

Emma Clifford, Sara Poyzer and Jacqueline Braun from a previous tour of Mamma Mia

Emma Clifford, Sara Poyzer and Jacqueline Braun from a previous tour of Mamma Mia

Helen said: "A little but also there are a lot of people working on the show who have been on it since 2004, there is a continuity of the behind the scenes personnel. It is a show which everyone working on it loves and that enthusiasm rubs off on people."

And Helen says that this is a show which everyone can enjoy, even the men in the audience.

She added: "It is just such a feel good show and one that all of the audience enjoy. There are men who enjoy it who have a tear in their eye and a song in their heart during the finale. There are times when as an actor, you question why you are doing this job, but then if you can spread some joy for two and a half hours while the show is on, then you know you've done a good thing."

The Royal & Derngate are also looking forward to bringing a bit of Swedish joy to Northampton at the beginning of next year.

Helen Hobson who will play Donna Sheridan in the upcoming tour.

Helen Hobson who will play Donna Sheridan in the upcoming tour.

Martin Sutherland, chief executive at Royal & Derngate, said: “We are delighted to have Mamma Mia coming to Royal & Derngate next year. With its feel-good story and iconic

ABBA songs, it should genuinely blow away any January blues. I’m really proud that we are able to bring top West End shows like this to Northamptonshire.”

It has music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus and is written by Catherine Johnson, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast.

Tickets are priced from £15 to £59.50. For more details or to book tickets call the box office on 01604 624811 or visit www.royalandderngate.co.uk.