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Mamma Mia! In Conversation: Louise Withers

Nov 17, 2017  ·  4 min read

It’s time to gather all your dancing queens because when all is said and done, you’ll want to be front and centre as the acclaimed musical of Mamma Mia! comes to Canberra for the first time ever.

We managed to grab a minute Louise Withers, one of the highly talented producers of the Australian tour.

We can’t wait for this musical masterpiece to take over Canberra! Can you tell us a bit more about where MAMMA MIA! Began for you?
My journey with MAMMA MIA! began in 2000, when I was appointed as Associate Producer for the original Australian tour of MAMMA MIA!. At that time there was just a two-page letter of agreement and so it really was the very beginning of its Australasian and Asian life. The first Australian Tour commenced in 2001 and played Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong and Singapore – that tour finished in 2005. And then we toured again in 2010.

We are excited to part of MAMMA MIA! as a preferred accommodation partner kicking off the Australian Tour. Can you elaborate on the reason why you selected QT to partner with?
QT Hotel represents all that we admire – high quality, good design, good service and good times – very much like MAMMA MIA! It was, therefore, a great choice as a partner. Its proximity to the theatre is the added bonus.

We’re so excited that you’ll be visiting us here in Canberra. What are you most looking forward to ticking off your list while you’re here?
Seeing Canberrans support and patronise large-scale musicals so that other producers and event organisers are encouraged to bring more big productions and events to the capital. We are starting our new national tour here in Canberra, which has not been done by a production of this scale. So it is vital that Canberrans support this season and hopefully much more… Plus, of course, for me…finding more great places to eat and enjoy what Canberra has to offer.

You have been working alongside co-producers Michael Coppel, and Linda Bewick for this project. What has been the best part about working with such an awarded team?
Camaraderie and shared principles. We have all worked in the industry for a long time, and together with Michael since 2003. Having partners who care about the quality of what is on stage, and care about looking after the offstage team is very important to us all.

Aside from hours of dancing and singing like no one is watching, what can the crowd expect from this feel-good production?
Timeless ABBA music, fun, laughter, energy, memories, romance and just a great time!   It is the perfect entertainment escape.

If you could pick one song from the musical that you had to lip-synch for, what would it be and why?
MAMMA MIA!…of course… has been such a great part of our lives and just makes me smile.

For dancing queens around the globe, the music of MAMMA MIA! holds a very special place in their heart. What do you think has sparked people’s love affair with the show?
The love affair with the show is the combination of all its parts – great music which is now part of our DNA, a great fun story which also touches your heart, and the romance of the beautiful Greek islands. We can see ourselves in the characters on stage. You leave the theatre uplifted, joyous and having had a great time – what more could you ask from a night out.

For all of our “out-of-towners” visiting, what do you recommend as a must-do when visiting the capital to see MAMMA MIA!?
Well, as an “out-of-towner” myself – the perfect day would be a long sleep in at QT, a visit to the National Portrait Gallery, a walk in a park, dinner at XO restaurant, a night seeing MAMMA MIA! and a cocktail nightcap at the QT.

Thanks Louise! It’s been an absolute pleasure.
Many thanks, and see you soon.

words by stephanie dempster.

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