A World-First for Mamma Mia as a Mandarin Production Opens in China
The Latest West End Hit To Transfer Overseas Receives a Makeover for Chinese Audiences
Various productions have had transfers to China over the years and there have also been other production to make the journey overseas and receive a mandarin translation. But “Mamma Mia!” is set to be one of the first major Western musicals to be given this treatment as a new version of the show opens in Chinese provinces and has already been met with positive reviews. It is the next step in a production that has received positive attention ever since it first appeared at the West End’s Prince Edward Theatre in 1999.
“Mamma Mia!” tells the story of a mother and daughter – Donna and Sophie Sheridan – who live on a Greek Island, with Sophie’s marriage to Skye on the horizon. With the big day getting closer Sophie wants nothing more than for her father to walk her down the aisle but she does not know who he is and after consulting her mother’s diary she manages to narrow down the possibilities to three. But when they arrive Donna is horrified to find three old flames on the island and Sophie gets no closer to deciding who the real deal is!
The show, well known for featuring the music of ABBA, has undergone a few changes upon its arrival at the Shanghai Daning Theater (sic) where it began previews last month. This included a Chinese cast and some cultural alterations. However, producers promise that the show is fundamentally the same production that audiences in the West End have enjoyed at the Prince Edward and Prince of Wales Theatre for the past decade. And if it is successful – with the critical response a promising sign – then it could usher in a new wave of West End productions heading East.
Over the years various other West End classics have made the trip abroad, from “Les Miserables” in China four years ago to the more recent appearance of “War Horse” on Broadway earlier this year. It shows that there is a massive appetite for these shows beyond the West End.
“Mamma Mia!” continues its run at the Prince of Wales Theatre and is currently booking to Saturday 28th April 2012.