London: Almost 12 years after it opened in London, Abba’s hit musical ‘Mamma Mia’ has become the first major Western to be translated for China.
The play hopes to win over an audience more accustomed to stirring historical dramas and revolutionary epics, after playing to 40 million people and grossing more than 1.2 billion pounds worldwide.
The show will have 32 performances in Shanghai and the southern city of Guangzhou and 80 in Beijing.
According to co-producer Tian Yuan, it was the musical’s ‘huge brand’ and appeal to younger audiences that helped it beat more established West End shows to the Chinese stage.
However, the head of China Entertainment Group, the government company behind the show, said: “we chose it, to be frank, because of its success.”
Meanwhile, British director Paul Garrington was surprised that very little deletions were made to meet the Chinese Culture Agency’s regulations.
“I was quite surprised, because there are quite a few moments of physical intimacy, which made some of the actors blush,” the Telegraph quoted him as saying.