Mamma Mia! What an ordeal

In this column Jeremy Clarkson gives his thoughts on the stage show ‘Mamma Mia’. Read the full column here.

My youngest daughter was adamant. For her birthday treat she wanted to see the stage version of Mamma Mia!. In other words, she wanted me to drive her 70 miles to London. To find a parking space. To have a horrible lunch from the kids’ menu. And then she wanted to go to a stage play in which people burst into song for no reason.

I dislike musicals on an industrial level. The Sound of Music could have been a good film but it was ruined by Julie Andrews running around on a hillside taking 20 minutes to sing what could have been said in five with a well-oiled Schmeisser machine pistol.

And musicals are so much worse in the theatre because the actors are actually there, and good manners means you can’t fall asleep. Well, you can, and I did in Miss Saigon, but you are inevitably roused from the land of nod when someone decides they can say something better with a song.

To my mind, the world would be a much better place if Messrs Gilbert and Sullivan had been imprisoned at a very early age. And if Andrew Lloyd Webber — whom I like very much as a chap — had been born deaf.

But there is nothing that Gilbert, Lloyd Webber, Rodgers, Rice, Sullivan or Hammerstein could have conceived that could even get close to the remorselessly twee and hateful Mamma Mia!.

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