Royal Court, Liverpool – until 16 July 2022
It’s been much, much longer than I thought since I sat down to watch a main stage performance at the Royal Court – and ten years since I caught the first outing of Mam I’m ‘Ere. Days later, I’m still smiling about this brilliant revival. And if the welcome back was warm, the cast was positively on fire.
Stephen Fletcher’s Mam I’m ‘Ere may have been born of a Scousetastic pun, but the evolution of this production has created one of the Court’s very best to date.
For a start, this show is genuinely absolutely hilarious. In the first 40 minutes or so, things couldn’t be tighter, with almost every line a laugh-out-loud gag – that’s some hit rate. And by then, you’re in love with the whole ensemble – almost all Royal Court regulars – who really are on remarkable form throughout.
The nuance of Andrew Schofield’s physical comedy has never been better, with Linzi Germain’s Uber-Scouse firebrand style taking the audience with her all the way. It’s elevated, too, by the addition of Kacey Ainsworth, last seen on stage here in Sweeney Todd a few years back: a geographical break-out that hints this show could have legs in other places yet.
Needless to say, for the uninitiated, the show takes liberties with the plot of the original Mamma Mia! – plonking it on a caravan site on a remote Welsh island, and turning a young girl’s search for her real dad into a plot to find the mum who abandoned her at birth.
Then there’s the tunes, irresistible disco classics that make this production (literally) sing. Mark Walters’ fun set of caravans creates a cute space for the action to unfold.
In a lot of ways, it’s a love letter to the old school, full of comedy references, nostalgia, and family-friendly disco (a flashback scene is a particular highlight) – but it’s not old fashioned. It’s a true crowd pleaser, without the cliches. This show is incredibly funny, sweet, and full of energy, joy and laughter from start to finish, from an immensely likeable cast with talent to spare. Mam I’m ‘Ere might be the perfect Scouse play. See it if you can.
Mam I’m Ere has had its run at the Royal Court extended until 16 July 2022.