Cast announced as MAMMA MIA! heads for Norwich

Full casting has now been announced for the long-awaited smash hit musical MAMMA MIA! which arrives in Norwich in just over two weeks as part of its first-ever UK tour, and stays from February 28 to March 25.

City theatre-goers can look forward to four weeks of feel-good holiday vibe with this much-loved sunny and funny tale of family and friendship combined with ABBA’s iconic and timeless music which has now been seen by over 60 million people worldwide.

The show is on its first ever tour of the UK which started in February last year and there will be a new cast in place for the Norwich run.

Photo by Brinkhoff Mögenburg

Taking on the central characters of mother and daughter Donna and Sophie Sheridan are two actors who both have experience in the roles and are all set to tell the Greek island story of a daughter setting out on the eve of her wedding to discover the identity of her father. Yet in doing so, she brings three men from her mother’s past back to the island they last visited 20 years ago.

Helen Hobson will take on the role of mother Donna Sheridan to Lucy May Barker’s daughter Sophie Sheridan.

Helen Hobson boasts an impressive career in both musical theatre and television. Following her debut in Chess in the West End, she then joined the cast of Les Misérables, beginning a long association with West End musicals and theatre. Helen first joined MAMMA MIA! as Donna on the international tour in 2004 and was invited by the show’s creator Judy Craymer to continue as Donna in the West End until 2007. After a break on other projects, she returned again to the show in 2012 – and is now back as she joins the UK tour.

Her many other theatre roles include Mrs Johnstone in Blood Brothers, Clara in Stephen Sondheim’s award winning Passion, Cathy opposite Sir Cliff Richard’s Heathcliff, Eliza in My Fair Lady, Rose Vibert in Aspects of Love, Grizabella in Cats and Mrs Walker in Tommy; while film and television roles range from Tess in Doctors, Mary in Heartbeat, Laura Burns in Red Cap and Mrs Leroy in EastEnders to Patricia in New Tricks and Sue in Rosemary & Thyme.

She made her film debut as Sally in Lovelorn for Tread Softly Productions winning Best Supporting Actress at the LA Showreel Festival, and as a soloist she has performed with many orchestras around the world, including the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, The NDR Orchestra, The London Pops Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra, The Showbiz Pops Orchestra and The Kammerspiel Trio.

Lucy May Barker has been playing Sophie on the earlier leg of the UK tour.   She comes from a strong theatre and musical background. Her first ever theatrical job as a child was in the 2001-2003 tours of the musical Annie when she played the lead role to critical acclaim.

Since then she has done lots of theatre ranging from the four-time Olivier Award-winning Spring Awakening, to The Crucible, The Reluctant Debutante, Sweeney Todd and Oklahoma!. She has also dipped her toe into the film world, playing the nursemaid in the 2012 film version of The Woman In Black starring Daniel Radcliffe, and on television she was George (one of the Famous Five) in The Culshaw and Stephenson Impressions Show, Belinda De Lacey in Scoop!  and Chris in Doctors.

Photo: Brinkhoff Mögenburg

The rest of the cast boasts an enormous amount of theatre and musical experience. Joining Helen and Lucy as Donna’s two friends and fellow Dynamos are Gillian Hardie as Rosie (theatre includes Kinky Boots, Blood Brothers, Saucy Jack and The Space Vixens and on television she was Pam Blake in Doctors and WPC Linda Kenyon in Merseybeat), and Emma Clifford as Tanya (theatre ranges from The Sound of Music, Batman Live World Arena Tour, Chicago, the RSC’s Much Ado About Nothing and West Side Story, as well as film and television roles).

Kay Milbourne will play the alternate Donna. She has had roles in Sunny Afternoon, Billy Elliot and The Young Ones, as well as singing backing vocals for The Monroes and as lead vocalist at Thursford Christmas Spectacular.

Sophie’s three ‘dads’ are Alex Bourne as Sam Carmichael, Jamie Hogarth as Harry Bright, and Christopher Hollis as Bill Austin, with  Phillip Ryan playing Sky, Sophie’s husband-to-be. Fia Houston-Hamilton is Ali, Blaise Colangelo is Lisa, Louis Stockil is Pepper and Brad Veitch is Eddie.

Completing the cast are Erica Jayne Alden, Peter Saul Blewdon, Aine Curran, Chris Durtnal, Gillian Ford, Tilly Ford, Ian Gareth-Jones, Morgan Jackson, Rory Maguire,  Hollie Nelson, Charlotte O’Rourke, Ellie Rutherford, Rebecca Seale, Oliver Tester, Kyle Wardlaw, Jamie Wilkin and James Wolstenholme.

MAMMA MIA! is here from February 28 to March 25 and tickets are available now.