Mamma Mia! takes sisters on ‘lovely journey’
AS CHILDREN, Pauline Crow and Maria Greene would sing and dance to ABBA songs in the lounge room of their family home.
At the weekend the siblings performed those same hits with the same fervour but this time their stage was the Pilbeam Theatre and their audience was in the thousands.
Pauline and Maria were part of the 33-strong ensemble in the Rockhampton Regional Council production of the hit musical Mamma Mia!
The show was performed four times to sellout crowds before its run was cut short by the ban on large gatherings introduced in response to the coronavirus.
The stunning production was directed by Joy Phillippi and a stellar cast was headed by Amanda Hock and Grant Wolf Whitfield.
Pauline described her and Maria's involvement as "a lovely journey".
It started last year when she first got wind of the production.
"It did play on my mind because everyone loves ABBA and I've enjoyed their music for so long," Pauline said.
"One of my daughters suggested that I should audition. I made a few inquiries and before I knew it I had signed up.
"I told Maria and she said she would audition too.
"When I got the email to say I was in it was incredibly exciting.
"To find out Maria had also been accepted... we both knew this was going to be a fantastic experience that we were going to share."
Mamma Mia! is set on a fictional Greek island, which also struck a chord with the sisters whose grandfather is from Greece.
It was Pauline's first time on the stage since her role as Wilbur in her Year 7 school production of Charlotte's Web.
She said it was great to discover her dramatic side again.
"I knew from the very start that it was going to be something very, very special," she said.
"Everyone in the cast was just so talented but the leads were exceptional.
"You'd be in rehearsals and they'd start singing and you'd get goosebumps knowing that you were part of it.
"That just encouraged you to work hard, to be better, to match them in professionalism even if you couldn't match them in talent and skill.
"You wanted to be the best person in the cast that you could be because you were really aware it was a team effort."
Pauline said there were "lots of highs" but opening night was amazing because her family, who had been "so incredibly supportive'' were in the audience.
"Seeing their happy shining faces there as we received a standing ovation was a huge reward," she said.
"The finale was fantastic, getting all that warmth from the audience. They were just so appreciative and it felt like they wanted to have as much fun as we did.
"It was all of us having a big singalong and enjoying the great atmosphere that had been created.
"I was disappointed that more people did not get to enjoy it but I felt so blessed and lucky I had the experience of doing the four shows.
"I feel like I've got a whole new lease on life.
"I would definitely audition again if it was a musical I loved.
"There is nothing quite like being part of something that provides others with so much happiness."