Sometimes all you need in life is to sing and dance with like-minded party animals to all the fantastic songs that ABBA have to offer. And that’s exactly what you can do at Mamma Mia: The Party which I was invited along to experience thanks to Love Pop Ups London and had a super trouper night. Mamma Mia the party takes place at the O2 in a specially built area which replicates where the first movie was filmed in Greece. It’s like you’ve been transported all the way there to Nikos Tavern, and this is where you’ll spend 4 hours singing, dancing. being fed and entertained with a fantastic immersive show.
The entrance to Mamma Mia the party is a little walk around from the entrance of the O2 but you’ll definitely know when you’ve reached it. A little patch of paradise inside the o2, with the exterior made to look like a greek building! There was quite a long queue when we arrived and so it’s probably best to get there in good time, for evening performances the doors open at 6:30pm and the first course is served at 7, so you really don’t want to miss the beginning!
From the moment you enter you can really tell that no expense has been spared to create the right atmosphere to match those of the films, although that is the only thing you’ll find (other than the songs) that will remind you of the films or the musical as this evening takes on a whole new storyline…although I don’t want to give too much away to you all! As you enter you can collect a welcome drink and make your way to your seat for the evening. We had some incredible seats right in the centre of the room by the fountain, slap bang in the middle of the action. I don’t even want to think about how much these seats would be as even the higher up seats start at a very pretty penny.
You’ll start with the starters – funnily enough. This was a mixture of different Greek foods and nibbles. Also at this point you’ll be informed that all of the food is actually bottomless, perfect if you’ve headed over after work with an empty belly. We had an array of different breads which were lovely, along with grilled octopus, tszatziki, hummus, taramasalata, olives, greek salad, tomatoes and a spinach pastry. Perfect for sharing and to whet your appetite for the greek festivities that will follow on throughout the evening. There are no drinks included in your package but you’re welcome to order these from your waiter or waitress (ours was fantastic! I think her name was Helena). My friend had quite a few allergies and she went all out to ensure that she didn’t eat or drink anything that would cause a problem and was super understanding and helpful.
Soon after the first course, the entertainment will start, the entire room will be filled with the sounds of a the best known and loved ABBA songs, and you’ll be introduced to all of the characters and led on a tale which isn’t too farfetched from various love stories and at points is a little predictable but still lovely nonetheless. There are extra little entertainment bits added in including fire and circus acts which up the anti. All of the acting and singing and dancing was fantastic, some amazing music to completely get you into the Mamma Mia mood! Even more exciting when the action is dotted all around the venue, meaning that you feel more included than when watching a show on stage.
There are 2 intervals throughout the evening, during the first of these you are served your mains which are more of a sharing style (veggies get their own little bowl of moussaka, at least I think it was). The meat option was a plate of lamb kleftico and beef flank with mediterranean sauce and chargrilled veggies, along with courgette briam, potatoes yiachni and cracked wheat with pomegranate and herbs. The meat was flavoursome and there was a lot of it. The beef was a little bit on the rare side for me but it was still relatively nice. I completely forgot to try the sauce and so cant comment on that! but the veggies were good and there was rather a lot of them to go round but one thing I found a little bit awkward was sharing food with people you didn’t know as people didn’t know how much to take and there wasn’t much room on the table but we just ended up making friends with everyone on the table which made this easier. I’m not entirely sure the food reflects the money that people would pay for a ticket but this could’ve just been my personal preference.
The second instalment of the show began shortly after the main course and we where whisked back to the action and able to sing along to even more of our favourite ABBA tunes. I really can’t rate the singing and the music highly enough! It was so good, all the voices were fabulous and you can see that a lot of preparation and practice has gone into perfecting this. This section was a little more upbeat than the first with a lot of dancier songs and actors popping out of the audience. It’s also great that the waiters and waitresses get involved and you’re always noticing things as the perfomance is going on. There were a couple of sadder songs where you were just completely mesmerised in the story and how incredible the entire production is, but straight after this you’re brought back to the real world and can continue to bop along to the music!
Next up was pudding. This was a portokalopita orange cake with confit orange and yoghurt. It was basically just a slightly orangey sponge. I’m not a big fan so this wasn’t really for me. It was followed by tea or coffee and baklava before the final segment of the show began.
The beginning of the 3rd section of Mamma Mia The Party began with half of the tables and chairs of the top half of the main floor seating being taken away to make room for more of a stage/catwalk. I’m not too sure people were expecting to lose their seats as they didn’t look too pleased. Although, it did mean that there Was a lot of audience participation with people dancing around the fountain to the final songs in the show. The fantastic actresses and actors used the stage to work their way through pretty much ALL of the best known Abba songs in a medley form, along with some great dancing. This was my favourite part of the night, it felt more like a concert and that people were finally properly partying, despite it being a ‘party’ the entire way through. But sadly, before we knew it, it was the last song! That went very quickly and it didn’t take people long to start dispersing from the room.
Overall, I had a really lovely evening at Mamma Mia the Party. I cannot fault the singing and dancing of all the people involved and the immersive aspect of this show is great. Not too much but just the right amount to make it more exciting. The actual venue itself is something quite spectacular and you really do feel as though you’ve been on a plane and stepped off into a taverna in Greece. There has been no expense spared on the venue. The only thing that I think let the whole experience down was the food. The starters were fab but I think there should’ve been options to choose from, even if just a couple – and for it to be served rather than help yourself at your table. The pudding, I think should be more exciting and have more choice. The ticket price is very high and currently I don’t think that the food completely reflects that but if you’re looking for a fun night out, love abba and want to have a proper (although you’ll have to buy your own drinks) then this is for you!