Dunedin continues to attract international artists and blockbuster musicals with the announcement today that the global musical phenomenon MAMMA MIA! will be staged as an arena spectacular next year for the first time in New Zealand.

Producers have spent eleven months negotiating with Australasian right holders Music Theatre International to gain permission to present the show in the new arena format. “It has been a long process but one we are delighted to get across the line so Dunedin can once again experience a big arena production”, said Blair Hughson president of Taieri Musical and producers of MAMMA MIA!

“In 2016 we introduced Dunedin to the arena concept with Grease - The Arena Spectacular Live, held at the More FM Arena with over 12,000 audience members attending. Since then we have been looking for the right show to put back into the arena setting and MAMMA MIA! was chosen as the perfect fit”

The arena production will see audience members surround a stage that is set in the middle of the venue with a light and sound rig that resembles more of a rock concert than a theatre production. A significant multimedia component will transport audiences to the Greek islands where MAMMA MIA! is set with producers promising a truly spectacular three-dimensional theatrical experience.

The creative team is led by local producer and director Doug Kamo with Emma Holloway as choreographer and the OXO Cubans will be responsible for recreating the hit music of ABBA.

“Support for musical theatre in Dunedin is at an all-time high. Our audience’s expectations have grown, the production values have grown to an international standard and the caliber of practitioners we are attracting is the highest I’ve seen in my time directing in Dunedin”’ Kamo says. “Securing the arena rights to MAMMA MIA! is coup for Dunedin and New Zealand, we can’t underestimate the impact this will have”.

Hughson says he wants to make MAMMA MIA! accessible to as many people as possible by offering a wide range of ticketing options including a wedding guest package where audience members are seated at tables surrounding the stage and double as wedding guests at the reception.

2019 marked the 20th anniversary of the original West End production which opened on 6 April 1999 at the Prince Edward Theatre in London. It has become a global entertainment phenomenon, which has now been seen by over 60 million people worldwide, in over 440 major cities.

Featuring all the hits of ABBA including Honey Honey, Money Money Money, Thank You for The Music, Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen, Super Trouper & Voulez-Vous the arena productions set design will be done by Kamo with costumes by Jen Hughson.

Mamma Mia will open on 7 October 2020 for a strictly limited season. Tickets on sale from mid-February 2020.

For more information go to www.mammamiaarena.co.nz

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