A star of the hit musical Mamma Mia! she’s making it a family affair – appearing on the show 15 years after her mother led the cast.
Meg Hateley, 23, made her West End debut as Sophie in the musical inspired by Abba’s hit songs at the Teatro Novello. Sophie’s mother Donna was played by Meg’s mother Linzi many years ago.
The actress said that playing the part in the show was like being in a “second home”. She told The Standard: “It’s weird, but of anything I’ve ever done acting wisely, this is the quietest I’ve ever heard and there is definitely something about the show and theater where I feel at home.
“There’s also a whole load of the same faces working backstage, or part of the hair, makeup or costume, which were people who worked on the show when my mom did, so I’m surrounded by those who also have a caring for me and a connection, so I feel so supported. It’s the best way to make my West End debut because I’m surrounded by people who knew me when I was little. “
Meg celebrated getting the part by tweeting a video of her singing during the show at the age of eight in her mother’s dressing room.
She was lucky that all that time behind the scenes as a child let her know the songs and the story “by osmosis”.
Meg said it helped to have someone “who knows firsthand” what the role entails. Her mother went to see the show three times in the first two weeks.
Linzi, 52, whose stage career has included roles in plays from Les Miserables to Joseph and the incredible Technicolor Dreamcoat, admitted it was “extremely emotional” to see her daughter on stage.
She said: “The pride I feel is extraordinary because she is my girlfriend and she is succeeding.
“Whatever he did I would be very proud of it, but I suppose the fact that it is a show in which I have been associated with myself makes it more special and more unusual.
“I never dreamed in a million years that I’d be sitting on the other side watching my daughter do it, so it’s wonderful and tears flowed a lot.”
She said people had asked her if she wanted to rejoin the show to share the stage with her. But she told them “this is really Meg’s moment and I’m really having a lot of fun being able to support her and be on the other side.”
Mamma Mia! opened in 1999 and is one of the longest running shows in West End history. The story, which includes Abba hits like SOS, Money, Money, Money and Super Trouper, has also been adapted for a smash hit film version starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan.