Stephen Fletcher originally wrote Mam! I’m ‘Ere! to create work for fellow actors over a quiet festive season, staging it on a shoestring and in an unheated hall.
Six years and two runs later, including a previous Royal Court production, here they go again – with a bigger budget, but with the same sense of joint endeavour evident among the current cast.
Fletcher’s sibling Michael, for example, stars as bridegroom Si but also acts as assistant stage manager, and even painted the set.
Given its title, it’s no surprise to find the ‘disco musical’ is (fast and) loosely inspired by a certain Abba-themed phenomenon.
Motherless Sally (Hayley Sheen) is getting married and wants nothing more than her “Mam” to be there. But which of the three women in dad Dave’s former life is the likely candidate? Why not invite them all to the family’s failing disco campsite on a soggy Welsh island and find out?
Like it’s almost-namesake, Mam! I’m ‘Ere! proves unabashedly big, bright, energetic, colourful, fun and good-naturedly cheesy, all underscored by some cracking tunes (none of them Abba) sung with brilliant harmony part work by Sheen and two Disco Divas.
The Royal Court regulars know how to extract big laughs from a scene, and while occasionally the verbal gags fall flat, the ensemble is superb at physical comedy, led by Schofield as the bemused and belligerent Dave.
The action unfolds on Mark Walters’ wedding cake-like stepped set, flanked by decrepit caravans and topped by a live band which pumps out irresistible dance floor classics.