We’ve been lucky to speak to Meg Hateley who’s currently playing Sophie in MAMMA MIA! at the Novello Theatre, London.
Discover how Meg got into acting, her advise for anyone wanting to pursue the same career and what she loves about playing Sophie in MAMMA MIA!.
With fantastic education rates and extensive teaching resources, MAMMA MIA! makes the perfect school trip.
Interview with Meg Hateley
How did you get into acting, and why?
I grew up backstage at theatres as my mum, Linzi Hateley, is a brilliant musical theatre performer (I’m not biased, I promise).
I always loved being in the theatre and around everyone who worked there, however I never saw it as a career path for myself! It wasn’t until I got into a drama school that I knew I wanted to pursue it properly.
I’m sure my mum sometimes wishes I pick a more stable career path however she has always and continues to be a huge support in whatever I do.
How old were you when you knew you wanted to be an actor and what do you think influenced that?
When I was 11 I went to an open audition for Oliver! in the West End to play one of the orphans. I was lucky enough to get a part and that was when I realised it was something I really enjoyed. I then didn’t pursue acting until I went to drama school at the age of 18, this is when I realised I wanted to take it seriously.
How did you get the role of Sophie in MAMMA MIA!?
Initially I auditioned for the MAMMA MIA! tour, I got down to the final 2 for Sophie however it didn’t go my way. 6 months later, I was then asked to audition for Sophie in the West End and after numerous rounds I got the part.
What do you love about your character?
I love Sophie’s determination and optimism. She’s a ‘chip off the old block’ and I love playing with the similarities and differences between Sophie and her mum, Donna.
What do you think the biggest misconception about Sophie is?
I think Sophie can sometimes come across a bit weak and in my opinion she is far from that. The fact she puts together this plan to find out who her father is shows just how strong she is.
What’s the biggest challenge about taking on this role, and how do you prepare for it each night?
I personally find the amount of singing in the show is the most challenging part. Act 1 in particular she just doesn’t stop, that plus the fact she’s running everywhere bare foot (give the girl some shoes!!) I vocally warm up before every show.
Why do you think ABBA’s music is so timeless?
I think ABBA’s music is so timeless because they’re brilliant tunes!! They’re also very catchy, I didn’t grow up listening to much ABBA and yet I still felt like I knew the words to a lot of their songs!
What is your favourite song from the show?
I love “Our Last Summer” that Harry and Donna sing.
Who do you think MAMMA MIA! is for and why?
MAMMA MIA! is absolutely for everyone, I can guarantee you will leave the show with a smile on your face.
What do you think students can learn from this show?
Communication is key! None of this would happen if Donna and Sophie just spoke to each other about the tricky things.
Do you think it’s important for young people to go to the theatre and why?
I think it’s important for everyone to go to the theatre. There are so many different kinds of shows to watch so there really will be something for everyone. It’s a moment of escapism that allows you to just step away from the real world for a couple of hours.
What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned as an actor?
To not take yourself too seriously, things go wrong, that’s life! Just be proud of yourself and what you bring to the table each day.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a career in acting?
Be you, be brave and work hard.
And finally, what was the most memorable school trip experience you had and why?
My favourite school trip was when we went to watch War Horse at the National Theatre. It was a spectacular show and nothing like I’d seen before!
MAMMA MIA!’s School Trip Rates
Schools can take advantage of the exclusive school group rate – allowing them to see MAMMA MIA! from just £17.50 per student. Teachers also go free, with one place for every 10 students booked.
Stalls & Dress Circle seats reduced to £25.00
Grand Circle seats reduced to £17.50
Minimum students: 10 tickets
Teachers: 1 free ticket per 10 students booked
Booking until: 28 September 2024
Days valid: Monday – Thursday at 7:30pm and Thursday at 3pm performances.
Please note that date restrictions apply to all rates. Please enquire for further details.