After commencing its new national tour at the Canberra Theatre Centre with a sold out season, global musical phenomenon MAMMA MIA! will make its way to Melbourne’s Princess Theatre this July.
Produced in Australia by Michael Coppel, Louise Withers and Linda Bewick, this exciting new production of MAMMA MIA! is inspired by the story-telling magic of ABBA’s timeless songs and follows the heart-warming tale of a young bride-to-be.
Among the list of talented individuals which make up the cast of the production, is Geelong-born Leigh Sleightholme. Leigh takes on the role of swing, which sees him act as an understudy for the ensemble.
“There are eight boys and eight girls in the ensemble,” begins Leigh. “And if any of the boys – and in some cases, the girls as well – if they’re off or they twist an ankle mid-show, I have to be ready to go on for any one of those plots.”
Largely influenced by the works of his mother, who was known within the Geelong region for Model and Talent Agency, Body Impact, during the ‘80s and ‘90s, Leigh has committed himself to an inspiring career within the industry of performing arts.
“I grew up with her – my mum – taking me to dance shows in Japan and doing Fashion Parades in what was back then Bay City Plaza, now known as Westfield Geelong,” says Leigh. “And as a kid from a small town with a big dream, I think it’s important for all kids to be able to experience something that inspires them, so they can follow their dreams.
“I want every kid to know that anything is possible.”
Making his professional musical theatre debut in 2005, performing in We Will Rock You (Japan), Leigh has since featured in several productions and is thrilled to today be returning to the Greek taverna with MAMMA MIA!.
“At the heart of the show (MAMMA MIA!), it’s just a fun time,” he says. “Every show we have – I don’t think there’s ever been a show where people aren’t literally up in their seats dancing by the end of it.
“It’s got everything; it’s fun, it’s got heart and soul, it’s about family and it’s about love.”
Identifying that the world is currently in dire straits, Leigh acknowledges the importance of and need for productions such as MAMMA MIA!.
Prompting over 60 million people around the world to fall in love with its tale, MAMMA MIA! markets itself as the ultimate feel-good musical.
“We’re in tough times at the moment,” explains Leigh, “I think the world is in a bit of a funny state – so bringing shows like this into the world, I think it gives people an outlet to just go and enjoy themselves.”
In what is a stunning new production, MAMMA MIA! invites the whole family to join in on the party of a lifetime.
When & Where: Princess Theatre, Melbourne – July 10.
Tickets via www.mammamiathemusical.com.au
Written by Helena Metzke