Milestones for Mamma Mia! and Wicked in the West End
The Two musicals Stand Out This Week with an Extension and a Record Respectively
Audiences continue to flock to two West End musicals in the forms of Mamma Mia! and Wicked, meaning that both shows have something to celebrate this week. The former has been granted a booking extension which means that audiences now have until April 2014 to see the ABBA musical at the Novello Theatre. Meanwhile, the latter has, according to Official London theatre, set a record for itself as it welcomed its five millionth audience member.
The news emerges on the back of the Laurence Olivier Awards nominations, which was announced last week, and that included a BBC Radio 2 Audience Award nomination for Wicked.
Producers take West End milestones seriously; just look at the 25th anniversary specials that were staged for both Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera in 2010 and 2011 respectively. Therefore the fact that Wicked has now welcomed its five millionth theatregoer is one that will be of huge importance and may ensure that the musical has a home in the West End for some time to come.
The show tells the story of Glinda the Good Witch and Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West, in particular their early years as playground rivals and their latter years in which the rivalry spills over into all of the world, many years before Dorothy arrives in The Wizard Of Oz.
Meanwhile, Mamma Mia! continues to be a big draw at the Novello where it transferred in September 2012 following many years at the Prince of Wales Theatre. The show is an original, celebrated, story set on a Greek island as a girl tries to find her father before her wedding, featuring the songs of ABBA as its musical numbers. Over the years it has been in the spotlight regularly and also managed to spawn a movie version that hit cinemas in 2008.
The show originally opened its doors at the Prince Edward Theatre back in 1999 and then transferred to the Prince of Wales Theatre in 2004. Following its transfer to the Novello Theatre last year it has now been granted another booking extension that means the show will now continue there until at least Saturday 5th April 2014.