Welwyn Garden City couple set off on Mamma Mia! world tour

A FIREFIGHTER turned actor has set off on a year-long worldwide tour of the hit musical show Mamma Mia! John Cook was given leave from his lifesaving job of 12 years at WGC fire station. Along with actress partner Julia Riley, John left the UK for Swe

A FIREFIGHTER turned actor has set off on a year-long worldwide tour of the hit musical show Mamma Mia!

John Cook was given leave from his lifesaving job of 12 years at WGC fire station.

Along with actress partner Julia Riley, John left the UK for Sweden last Friday for the first leg of the tour.

The couple, who live in Homestead Lane, met nine years ago when they appeared in a musical at the Watford Palace Theatre.


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John's dad, Brian Cook, is delighted with the achievements of his son.

The 61-year-old, of Carve Ley, told the WHT: "I am very proud, the whole family are proud.

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"John was very excited when he first found out about Mamma Mia!

"He has worked very hard for it and so has Julia."

John has already appeared in the show which is based on ABBA's greatest hits, woven into three love stories, for over two years in the West End.

On the world tour he will be play Harry, and Julia, who was born in Watford, will be in the ensemble, and the understudy for all three of the leading female roles.

The tour starts in Sweden, and continues in Malaysia, Austria, Italy, Switzerland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Portugal, Thailand, Taiwan and New Zealand.

In between times performers will be able to return home for rest periods before embarking on their travels again.

John, whose professional name is John Alastair, said: "We're hoping to use some of the gaps in our schedule to explore neighbouring countries, in south-east Asia for example."

Grateful for his first acting experience in 1982 in A Midsummer Night's Dream at the Barn Theatre, Handside Lane, John added: "I'm not the only one who owes their professional career to the Barn - quite a few of my Barn youth group contemporaries went on to success in the theatre, whether as actors, managers, writers or technicians.

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