Hello! Who has seen the new Mamma Mia 2: Here I Go Again movie? Not me! I absolutely can't wait to go though. I've been waiting...

Viva Voulez Vous

Hello!

Who has seen the new Mamma Mia 2: Here I Go Again movie? Not me! I absolutely can't wait to go though. I've been waiting to arrange a time when a group of myself, boyfriend, mum and some friends can all go together so no one gets left out. Hopefully it will be within the next week or so!

In the meantime I was lucky enough to have been given two tickets to go see any show at Viva Blackpool in return for a review! I jumped at the chance to be able to see something ABBA related so Viva Voulez Vous it was!

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I decided to take my mum along with me. Firstly, we parked too far away. My dad suggested we park in the flat iron at the back of the Sea Life Centre (near Coral Island) instead of taking the recommendations of Viva Blackpool's website. It was a bit more of a walk than we had expected but not too bad since the weather was lovely and you could see the sun beginning to set over the beach. If you decide to go, and you are driving, park in Houndshill or West Street!

We were able to pick up our tickets on the door and made our way upstairs to be greeted by a lovely man taking photos - just like being at a VIP event. Once shown to our seats, we ordered our drinks and were ready for the show to begin. 

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I was designated driver so unfortunately it was just a coke for me. Those cocktails did look amazing though!

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We had a few troubles ordering drinks throughout the night. The first time round, we ordered a half pint of larger and a pint of coke. The bartender kept asking us to repeat it and in the end we just changed it to a pint of each to make life a little easier. Later on, we had table service (which was a lovely touch) and ordered a pint of coke again and a pint of Strongbow Darkfruits. When it arrived it was just a plain Strongbow cider. The young girl who took the order definitely put down Darkfruits as she double checked with us so I'm not sure how that got so mixed up. When the interval came around I took the drink back to the bar to ask for some blackcurrant to be put in it. They did offer to completely change it though which was nice but my mum just said not to worry.

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At 7:30pm, the show started.

What an opening!

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There were the four main "ABBA" singers accompanied by the Viva Showgirls. The start of the show was fast paced, upbeat, exciting, on point, pitch perfect... what else can I say. I was genuinely blown away! It was not what I had expected at all. All four of the singers have brilliant voices and the dancers were so full of energy. I noticed a lot of the audience bopping along (myself included) singing all the hits we know so well. I loved when they got the lyrics up during Fernando and got all the audience to join in. I kind of wished they had done this at least once more throughout the show. That probably had something to do with me wanting to sing along all the time. 

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On a technical point of view (I'm a drama student so I can't help myself) I loved how colourful and and unique each of the costume designs were, and obviously I got huge ABBA vibes. I love the silhouettes created by the back lighting on multiple occasions - it was perfect for making the end positions stand out. The projections were pleasantly surprising. I'm so used to going to tribute shows or shows in smaller venues where the images are blurry from being blown up too much or the mapping is out. This was not the case at Viva Blackpool. The projections aided the onstage visuals and gave a nice break when there was a costume change. At first I thought the sound levels were a bit too loud but once the action on stage started and all the belting came out, I could understand why. The loudness was needed to counter the incredible voices. So in effect, it was actually dead on point. Tech team - you did yourselves proud!

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As I've already mentioned, the singing was incredible! Such powerful voices! My favourite part was when the songs were stripped back and you could solely focus on the singing. If anything, I would have liked to hear more songs made to fit the males in, as I think their voices were under used. I get it's an ABBA tribute and all but I don't see why you can't change a few more songs to fit them in. The four voices blended well together and it was a shame you didn't get to hear them all together too often. That said, the female singers were both a credit to each other. I appreciated how all the performer's individual personalities shone through (dancers included) in everything you were doing - they weren't trying to mask who they really were too much as many people do when they go on stage. I also noticed how some of the dancers, and singers when it wasn't their turn to sing, were mouthing the lyrics and although most in the professional scene would probably tell them to stop, I enjoyed it - they all looked like they were having the time of their lives, enjoying themselves. They might be onstage and doing their job but it's so much better when everyone is having fun, and we can clearly see that.

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Finally, a note on the venue as a whole:

All of the staff were lovely. As I mentioned, we got table service. During the show, when our drinks were low or had completely run out, one of the waiting staff would come over and ask if we would like any other drinks. Such a brilliant idea as no one wants to get up during the show itself. When the interval came around, there was no queue at the bar at all because everyone already had the drinks they wanted. I bought us some snacks during the interval, just a packet of crisps and a small tub of vanilla ice cream (I panicked when I couldn't decide what flavour to get, so I chose boring vanilla). It cost £2.50 for the two which, although my mum thought it was very expensive, I know what the price of ice cream is like at show events and usually it's £2.50 a tub on its own. I was quite impressed. It was delicious vanilla too, no matter how boring. I noticed there was a white chocolate meringue something and kind of wished I had got that instead but oh well. You could also buy popcorn, burgers, fries, chocolates, etc. Pretty damn good for a snack bar if you ask me! If you missed out on the Viva Vegas Diner downstairs before the show, then you could always order a mini meal upstairs to eat whilst watching the show! All the tables and chairs were set out in a way that everyone can see the stage and there are plenty of tables for various numbers of people. We were simply on a table for two but there were much larger round tables for a whole family night out!

Overall both me and my mum enjoyed the night and I would definitely book to see another show. My mum didn't stop talking about how good the singers were afterwards. If you're in town and fancy going to see a show, then the Viva Voulez Vous is on every Thursday until the 1st November. Or there are plenty of other tributes, variety, comedy, and magic shows to choose from!

Now I really need to go watch Mamma Mia 2! I can't say I've stopped singing ABBA songs since!

See you later,
- KC xx

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