A decade or so ago you couldn’t move for musical-theatre-related reality TV shows, most of them involving Andrew Lloyd-Webber and Graham Norton, and all of them involving casting the lead roles in brand new revivals of classic musicals that would subsequently teem into the West End on a tsunami of initial sales from the viewing public.
They ceased being a regular thing when Lloyd-Webber left to start making new musicals with more conventional casting again, although the format was dusted off in 2017 for the Take That-themed ‘Let It Shine’.
But now it’s been announced that there’s a new kid in town. ‘Mamma Mia! I Have Dream’ is by a different production company and on a different channel (ITV), but aside from that it’s the same basic idea: a series of contestants will battle it out over eight episodes to bag a role in ABBA musical ‘Mamma Mia!’.
Co-produced by ‘Mamma Mia!’ mastermind Judy Craymer, the show will be substantially filmed in Greece, reflecting the musical’s setting, and will cast the roles of twentysomethings Sophie and Sky rather than any of the older characters: we’re imagining a sort of demi-‘Love Island’ vibe.
It’s the first of these shows to seek new cast members for a pre-existing production, and will presumably turbocharge the ticket sales for ‘Mamma Mia!’, which has been running away on the West End since 1999, the sixth longest-running West End show in history.
There are no confirmed dates for transmission yet, but applications are open until March with filming taking place next spring and summer – it’s expected to screen next year in the run-up to the musical’s twenty-fifth year on the West End in 2024 – presumably, few to none of the contestants will have actually been born when it started its run!
If you think you’d be right for the role of either Sophie or Sky, you can apply here.