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‘Mamma Mia!’ Musical Returns to London’s West End – Global Bulletin

·3-min read

THEATER

Smash hit musical “Mamma Mia!” will return to London’s West End at the Novello Theatre from Aug. 25.

The beleaguered U.K. theater sector is operating at a vastly reduced capacity for another month as the country’s full reopening was pushed back to July 19 from June 21. Unless COVID-19 cases, currently clocking in at some 10,000 new cases a day, rise exponentially, theaters will return to capacity by the time “Mamma Mia!” reopens.

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The show, about a mother, a daughter and three possible dads on a Greek island idyll, all unfolding to classic ABBA tracks, originally opened in London at the Prince Edward theater in 1999, before transferring to the Prince of Wales in 2004, and then to the Novello in 2012. The London production has been seen by over nine million people, played over 8,500 performances and has broken box office records in all three of its London homes.

Returning to the cast will be Mazz Murray as Donna, Richard Trinder as Sam, Neil Moors as Harry, Stephen Beckett as Bill, and Sophie Matthew as Lisa.

With music and lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, “Mamma Mia!” is written by Catherine Johnson, directed by Phyllida Lloyd and choreographed by Anthony Van Laast. It is produced by Judy Craymer, Richard East & Björn Ulvaeus for Littlestar in association with Universal.

Pictured (L-R), Stephen Beckett, Richard Trinder, Neil Moors.

Meanwhile, the cast of Tony, Grammy and Olivier Award-winning “Jersey Boys” will be led by Ben Joyce as Frankie Valli, Adam Bailey as Bob Gaudio, Benjamin Yates as Tommy De Vito and Karl James Wilson as Nick Massi. The musical will open at the newly refurbished Trafalgar Theatre on Aug. 10, following previews from July 28.

DISTRIBUTION/SALES

Altitude have acquired writer and director Tony Stone’s Unabomber drama “Ted K.” for the U.K. and Ireland ahead of the Cannes Virtual Market.

HanWay Films is handling international sales and distribution and have also secured deals in Italy (Movies Inspired), Scandinavia (NonStop), Portugal (Films4You), Greece (Odeon), CIS & Baltics (Paradise), Middle East (Front Row), ships and airlines (Horizon), Singapore (Shaw) and Latin America (CDC). Cinetic Media negotiated the deal with Super LTD for U.S. rights.

The film, which premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival, stars Sharlto Copley (“District 9”) as Ted Kaczynski, widely known as the Unabomber, and draws from Kaczynski’s personal diaries and accounts from those who knew him during his life in hiding.

AWARD

Yana Ugrekhelidze‘s “Instructions for Survival” (Germany) is the winner of the Compass-Perspektive-Award presented to the best film from the Perspektive Deutsches Kino programme of the Berlinale Summer Special. The award carries a cash prize of €5000 ($5,940).

The jury also selected a film for special mention — “Wood and Water” (Germany/France) by Jonas Bak.

CARNIVAL

After going virtual in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 edition of the U.K.’s iconic Notting Hill Carnival, scheduled for Aug. 29, 30, looks set to go the same way.

“After lengthy consultations with our strategic partners, our advisory council and individual participating bands and sound systems, the board of Notting Hill Carnival Ltd, the organizing body of Notting Hill Carnival, has decided that this year’s Carnival will not be on the streets due to the ongoing uncertainty and risk COVID-19 poses,” said the organizers.

“As in 2020, we are working towards alternate events that will allow everyone to safely celebrate everything Notting Hill Carnival stands for. More details on all of this, as well as special events leading into the August bank holiday weekend will be announced in due course,” the organizers added.

“Going forward, we will be working with Carnivalists toward the greatest ever Notting Hill Carnival for 2022.”

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