Based on the movie of the same name, “Mamma Mia!” tells the story of Sophie, a young bride-to-be, who on the eve of her wedding, goes on a quest to discover the identity of her father. It brings three men from her mother Donna’s past back to the Greek island they last visited 20 years ago. This feel-good musical comes alive through ABBA’s timeless songs.
Playing the role of Tanya, one of Donna’s best friends, is Jayde Westaby. Jayde, originally from the UK, has performed in “The Rocky Horror Show”, “Chicago”, “Sweet Charity”, “Jersey Boys” and “Grease” in the West End. She also recently starred in the Australian premiere of “Dream Lover—The Bobby Darin Musical”. We speak to her about her role in “Mamma Mia!” and all things ABBA.
Tell us about your role as Tanya in “Mamma Mia!”
Tanya is a fabulous woman who loves the finer things in life and shows it through an incredible wardrobe! There is nothing she loves more than being with her two best friends where she can be her true self and reminisce.
Growing up were you much of an ABBA fan?
No I wasn’t a huge fan growing up, but very quickly fell in love with their music and lyrics. It’s hard not too! What’s your favourite ABBA song to perform in “Mamma Mia! The Musical?"
I love performing “Does Your Mother Know." It’s a fantastic number full of dancing, energy, tricks and fun! I’m very lucky I get to perform it every show.
Do you have a favourite scene or moment in the show?
I love watching our leading lady Natalie O’Donnell perform “Slipping Through My Fingers," it kills me every time. But my favourite scene is the bedroom scene where we sing “Chiquitita” and “Dancing Queen” with my other two dynamos. We have so much fun together and it’s a really great moment full of chemistry and friendship.
You’ve worked both here and in the UK. Have you noticed any differences in the audience between the two countries?
Not huge differences really. People love theatre and the escapism it brings. Especially with a show like “Mamma Mia!," audiences play such a huge part and we love to take them on this incredible adventure and encourage them to party with us at the end! Audiences are loving it and that makes us so happy.
You’ve had such a diverse career with many varied roles. Is there a dream role that you have yet to play?
Thank you, I feel very lucky to have played so many different characters in very different shows. There are many roles I haven’t played yet and I don’t want to name them and jinx myself!