Mamma Mia: Dancing Queens and Super Troupers

mamma mia

Somewhere in the crowd, there’s you me. Aka the night I went to the ultimate Abba musical.

 

When it’s a cold, drizzly Tuesday evening in the city, a bit of entertainment is much needed. With the current steep cinema prices (enough to buy multiple DVDs from Amazon), seeing a film, albeit on a big screen, seems like bad value for money. For little more than a cinema ticket, however, you can see a real live show. Yes – one with actual people in – singing, dancing, making you feel good about the world. So, this Tuesday, I spent a reasonable £22 on going to the Novello Theatre and witnessed two and a half hours of Abba fabulousness: I saw Mamma Mia.

I remember the film Mamma Mia coming out a few years back (funnily enough, I did actually see it at the cinema – but this was back in the day when you got change from a tenner), and the stellar cast alone was enough to make the movie decent, even if the storyline left something to be desired. The London show uses the same narrative, songs and characters as the movie, and is reassuringly familiar, yet utterly different. Having seen the film, I couldn’t help comparing the stars of the stage show to Meryl Streep, Julie Walters and Christine Baranski. Despite their on-screen counterparts, these performers did a cracking job.

The music, costumes, comedy and (let’s face it) fairly very good looking cast made for a fantastic experience. Watching Mamma Mia made me realise a) just how many songs Abba wrote, and b) that I somehow knew nearly all the words to them all. That either makes Abba ridiclouly memorable, or me kind of embarrassing. Or both.

The best thing about seeing a live show is the reality that at any moment, something could go wrong. Admit it – when sitting in a theatre, there is a tiny part of you wondering what would happen if someone forgets their lines/trips over/gets drunk in the interval and changes the entire second half. That, thankfully, didn’t occur on this occasion, which was lucky as the final numbers of the show are incredible. A lot of shiny trousers, a fair few pairs of platforms, a tonne of energy and music, and you have the ultimate feel-good finale. The audience were up on their feet singing to Waterloo, and I realised that as much as my brain could have been broadened that evening by watching a BBC documentary, seeing a Shakespeare play or visiting a museum, Mamma Mia made me pretty much as happy as I could be on a weekday evening. Ultimately, the show reaffirms life’s positivity – a happy ending, a lot of singing, and a seat with a pretty good view that didn’t break the bank. This, my friend, is what London is about.

5p Charge Not Your Bag? When Plastic isn’t so Fantastic…

Sainsburys

Time to bag it up people….

Monday 5th October will forever be held in our memories as Doomsday. That tragic, unforgettable Autumnal day, our week began with a hard-hitting realisation that was almost incomprehensible. This was, I think you’ll agree, comparable to 1 Direction splitting up, or Bruce Forsyth leaving Strictly. Monday 5th October will now be remembered as ‘That Day People Made Us Pay A Whole 5p For A Darn Carrier Bag’.

Despite the inevitable onslaught of anger from a lot of the population, I’m personally pretty chuffed that England have decided to introduce this charge. We are, it seems, finally taking heed from Wales and Ireland, who have been charging for plastic bags for a good few years now. The money we pay for a bag will go to charity, so not only will we be saving the planet, but we will be supporting a worthy cause. And let’s face it, there isn’t much room left under the sink for any more plastic bags anyway.

What this means, dear cash-strapped readers, is that the stash of bags you currently have, that you were probably thinking of simply chucking away, is worth a small fortune. In years to come, ‘Cash in the Attic’ will discover this collection and no doubt your fortune will be made. Hold out for this moment.

In a big city, such as London, huge superstores are few and far between. The reality of your shopping is likely to be ‘picking up some milk from the Tesco Express on your way home’ but in fact turns in to ‘buying a hell of a lot more’. And inevitably forgetting the milk. We city-dwellers are more prone to spontaneously popping into a shop, rather than driving to an out of town supermarket where a car-boot comes in handy. Since our shopping habits are usually off-the-cuff, we’ll be unlikely to have a bag when we need one. Which will mean a lot of 5ps going to charity.

Solution 1: online shopping (avoiding the pain or trying to fit a whole bottle of wine and a loaf of bread in your handbag). Solution 2: keep a reusable bag inside your bag (I realise this sounds like a Russian doll endeavour). Solution 3: Buy the darn bag.

At the end of the day, as much as we try to bring an environmentally friendly receptacle in which to place our organic goods , the morning rush may prevent this. In such a case, kindly give the 5p to the charitable cause, buy the bag, and try to flippin’ remember to bring one next time. (From experience, it is unadvisable to try and squish all of your shopping into one bag just to avoid buying another. The bag will end up breaking, your shopping will be ruined, and spending another 5p would have been majorly worth it.)