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London’s TheatreLand

Amandeep journeys to London's famous West End to go backstage at one of the world's most popular musicals: Mamma Mia!. She meets cast and crew, and finds out about the history of this long-running show.

Preparation

Before you watch

Think about the following questions:

  • Do you know any ABBA songs?
  • Have you seen the movie or stage version of Mamma Mia!?
  • Are musicals popular in your country?

Now, listen and watch as Amandeep interviews crew and cast of the musical, Mamma Mia!.

Transcripts

This is London’s West End, where theatre is centre stage. Over 40 playhouses can be found in the largest theatrical district in the world.

The Prince of Wales Theatre is home to the hit show Mamma Mia!. And I’m getting a sneak peek backstage.

Mamma Mia! has been playing at the Prince of Wales Theatre since 2004. It’s a love story set on a Greek island. The show features hit songs by the band ABBA. It’s been a worldwide hit, winning many awards.

This is the warm up, when the actors get ready for the show. I can’t wait to see them in their full costumes in the actual performance.

I think this is the way to the dressing room.

Ah, now this one is so me.

.......

I’ve come backstage to meet one of the stars of the show.

Amandeep: Craig, which character do you play?

Craig: I play Sky who is getting married to Sophie, who is Donna’s daughter, who runs the taverna on the island.

Amandeep: Tell me about the costumes.

Craig: I’m mainly in a wetsuit or swimming trunks and everyone else is in normal clothes throughout - except right at the end, when we do the big finale, everyone gets dressed up in big, glittery, loud colour costumes.

Amandeep: What’s the best thing about working on Mamma Mia!?

Craig: The crew and cast are great. And the music’s great.

.......

There are a lot more people involved in putting on a show than just the actors. Without the backstage crew, the show can’t go on.

Clare Whitfield is a stage manager and has worked on Mamma Mia! since 1999.

Amandeep: So Clare, tell me about what you do.

Clare: My job is to look after the show from the set and the props and the furniture to ensure the safe and clean running of the production every night.

Amandeep: Can you explain what a prop is?

Clare: Yes, a prop is just an everyday object that the actors use. In our show we use a lot of luggage, a diary, letters, a hairbrush. It can be anything, but the fact that the actor picks it up and takes it on stage makes it a prop.

Amandeep: Why do people enjoy Mamma Mia!?

Clare: Everyone loves ABBA. People of all ages can relate to it. And it’s such a great, uplifting story.

.......

It’s almost time for the show to start. I’d better go and find my seat.

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Language level

Intermediate: B1
Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

Hello teacher, the women Said everyone loves
Abba, but i don't like Abba does that mean she is lying???

Hi Ginpered,

You can certainly say that she's wrong or incorrect :)

But lying means that somebody wants to cheat or deceive people, and she doesn't have that intention here. 

You could also say that she is overgeneralising.

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Musical are not so spread in my country.

Hi, Teacher.

Here Amandeep says "now this one is so me".
Could you explain what does it mean, please?
Thank you

Hi flower m,

The meaning of 'this one is so me' is 'this one suits me perfectly'. It is often used when a person is making a choice such as when buying clothes or looking at different places to live.

 

Best wishes,

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team