| Himali Boarding School students perform Mamma Mia! in Darjeeling on Saturday; a poster of the film. Picture by Suman Tamang
Darjeeling, Oct. 7: Mamma Mia! The governor said he liked the school play better than the Broadway production.
Students of a boarding school from Kurseong yesterday bowled over M.K. Narayanan with their staging of Mamma Mia! — a musical written by British playwright Catherine Johnson that includes several hits by the 1970s Swedish band Abba, one of them being Mamma Mia.
In Italian, “Mamma mia” means something like “Oh, my goodness”.
“My wife and I happened to watch Mamma Mia! on Broadway sometime back,” Narayanan said after the show, watched by an audience of 1,080 at St Robert’s School in Darjeeling.
“I think I will not be wrong when I say that the performance has made a greater impression on us than when we watched it the last time.”
Narayanan added: “The performance was fabulous and I am sure that these talents can make it to Broadway (New York) and West End (London).”
The praise would have had the nervous performers from Himali Boarding School over the moon. Just days before the performance, they had found out that Narayanan and his wife had already seen Mamma Mia! on Broadway.
“We became anxious at the last moment when we were told about this. We are happy our show impressed them,” said Rabindra Kumar Subba, the director of the school and the play who had himself watched the musical at West End.
The plot revolves around 20-year-old Sophie (played by Disha Tamang) and her attempt to discover who among her mother Donna’s (played by Ratssamimarn Thareebsub) three former lovers was her father. Sophie wants her father to walk her down the aisle at her wedding.
She finds the names of the three men in Donna’s diary and invites them to her wedding, the story unfolding on the Greek island of Kalokairi.
The musical features the Abba hits Super Trouper, Lay All Your Love on Me, Dancing Queen and The Winner Takes It All, to name a few.
Mamma Mia! was first staged at West End in 1999 and was made into a film in 2008, starring Meryl Streep as Donna, Amanda Seyfried as Sophie and Colin Firth, Pierce Brosnan and Stellan Skarsgard as Donna’s three ex-boyfriends.
The Rotary Club of Darjeeling helped organise the show, the proceeds of which will be given to a charity. All the 1,080 seats priced at Rs 300 were taken last evening.
Nineteen students were in the choir and 27 in the cast. The students had practised for nearly three months.
Himali has been organising musicals for charity and campus events since 1999. The Bhutan government had invited the school’s students in 2008 to perform Bombay Dreams during the coronation of the country’s king.