Christchurch mother and daughter cast in hit musical (The Press)

Stage veteran Anne-Marie Gilmore has a dream to share her love for theatre with her daughter Sophie, and this week the dream will become reality.

It will come together in the jukebox musical Mamma Mia! with the central theme focused on the relationship between a mother and daughter.

Super trouper Anne-Marie Gilmore, 47, will provide backing vocals of the songs from ABBA, the first pop group she fell in love with.

Mamma Mia! marks her 16th production with Showbiz, starting with the 1992 production of Me & My Girl.

Her husband Shaun Gilmore, 50, will make it a family affair as he will work in the backstage crew as a followspot​ operator.

The story, set on a Greek island paradise, is about a young woman’s quest to discover the identity of her father on the eve of her wedding.

“When [Sophie] was younger I wasn’t really sure if I’d still be doing it, I always thought in the back of my head that it would be really lovely to do a show with my daughter.

“When said she was interested in doing Mamma Mia!, I was secretly really pleased. Then when we both auditioned and were both successful in getting in, it was the icing on the cake.”

Christchurch actress Juliet Reynolds-Midgley portrays single mother Donna, and NASDA​ graduate Emily Burns plays love-struck daughter Sophie.

Anne-Marie Gilmore said there were moments in the story that made her think about her daughter.

“One of the songs that Juliet sings where she’s playing Donna is called Slipping Through My Fingers which is a very beautiful, poignant wee ballad about a mother thinking about her daughter who’s growing up and how the relationship is changing and time is running out; the daughter is growing up and doing her own thing.”

Gilmore cried the first time Reynolds-Midgley sang the ballad in rehearsal.

“It’s hard not to draw parallels when you’re a mother with that kind of song.”

Ensemble dancer Sophie Gilmore almost stepped in to fill a chorus role in Spamalot​ last September with her father, but the original cast member made a swift recovery.

“It would have been a great experience, but now I get to be here with Mum,” she said.

The 16-year-old Burnside High School student will take a chance on her Showbiz debut in Mamma Mia!.

“Especially when Emily and Juliet are playing the roles and the characters are having a bit of a confrontation, it reminds me of my Mum and I.

“But I can’t personally relate to being married at 20 years old, I think that Mum probably wouldn’t be too keen on that either.”

She first saw her mother in Beauty and the Beast as The Wardrobe when she was 6.

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