Sheffield Mamma Mia! star Daniel back on stage in musical's first-ever outdoor performances

Sheffield actor Daniel Crowder is starring on stage at Harewood House in Leeds in the first-ever outdoor performances of hit musical Mamma Mia!

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 4:45 pm
Harewood House in Leeds, the stately setting for the first open-air performances of Mamma Mia!
Harewood House in Leeds, the stately setting for the first open-air performances of Mamma Mia!

Daniel plays Harry Bright, one of three potential fathers for Greek hotelier Donna’s daughter Sophie in the much-loved show based on ABBA’s hits.

He has already played the role in UK and international tours. The show comes to Harewood House from August 13-30 on its latest tour, celebrating 22 years since Mamma Mia! premiered in London in April 1999.

Speaking during rehearsals in London, Daniel said: “It’s just nice to be in a theatre, seeing the set on stage for the first time in months and the costumes coming out and seeing so many people around – it’s just so nice to see it all coming together.

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"We were touring the show when the pandemic hit when we were in Hull. We did the Monday night performance and were then told we should go home. At the time we thought it was for maybe three to four weeks. We left everything in the dressing rooms, thinking we’ll come back and collect those.”

The tour is just getting going again. One of their first performances is a special show for NHS workers.

The Leeds shows are also special: “We’ll be under the stars – it’s the first time ever outdoors in the show’s 22-year history,” said Daniel. “It’s brilliant because when they were trying to remount the show with all the restrictions, outside you can pretty much do anything.

“We’ve got huge screens and the capacity is 1,800. I can’t wait to get started.”

Members of the cast of Mamma Mia! on stage

After Leeds, they head to Dubai, and the tour continues throughout 2022. It comes to the Lyceum in Sheffield from October 25 to November 5, 2022.

Daniel, who trained at the famous Rose Bruford drama school in London, knew he wanted to be in Mamma Mia! when he saw it in 1999. He had to wait until he was old enough to play Harry to audition and had to learn to play guitar.

“Just don’t ask me to play anything except Thank You for the Music!” he joked. “He’s such a charming role – it’s such a lovely part and he gets to sing Thank You for the Music.

Mamma Mia! on stage

“Working with the other dads is a dream and I couldn’t say no to coming back after the year we’ve had. It’s guaranteed sunshine, just like Grease.”

Daniel said he tells people he plays the Colin Firth role, the uptight banker who gets an invitation to Sophie’s wedding out of the blue and takes a step into the unknown.

Originally from Walkley, Daniel got his first taste of theatre in a nativity play at Rivelin Middle School, then went on to Sheffield Youth Theatre and the Crucible Youth Theatre. He also appeared on the Crucible main stage in shows such as Gregory’s Girl.

His biggest fan lives in Sheffield – mum Naomi Crowder has seen Daniel on stage in Manchester, Hong Kong and Paris. “Try keeping her away from Harewood House!” he joked.

Sheffield actor Daniel Crowder, who stars in Mamma Mia! in Leeds and on tour

To book Leeds tickets, go to mamma-mia.com/harewood-house. Audiences can pre-order picnics with handmade food and visit Harewood House on the day for a discounted price.

Lyceum box office: www.sheffieldtheatres.co.uk