It’s one of the biggest films this summer and we have not one but two local actors featuring in it.

That’s Mamma Mia 2: Here We Go Again and while most cinema-goers will be revelling in watching the likes of Cher, Merryl Streep, Colin Firth and Pierce Brosnan dancing and singing their socks off, there’ll be a select few who will also be Joe Allen and Amy Trigg watching.

Joe, who is from Colchester, and Amy, who live sin Witham, both were cast to appear in the ensemble pieces of the film but while Amy just got to rehearse and film in Shepperton Studios in London, lucky Joe got flown out to Croatia.

Joe, who grew up in Kelvedon but now lives in Colchester, first hit the big time when he got a part in the original cast of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory in the West End directed by Sam Mendes in 2013.

Performing various parts including an Oompa Loompa and Augustus Gloop’s dad, he followed that up with a stint performing in the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford and can next been seen on stage in Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre production of Little Shop of Horrors.

But currently it’s the big screen Joe is lighting up as one of the cast members of Mamma Mia.

He says: “At first all we thought we were doing is appearing in this one scene where we arrive on a boat for a party the main character of Sophie is holding to the tune of Dancing Queen but then our involvement just got bigger and bigger.

“Basically I’m playing a fisherman but at various points I’m in the hotel, at this party and I’m even sat next to Cher in a chapel. You can’t actually see me in the film but believe it, I’m there. The director Ol Parker knew I was a huge fan, mainly because I have a tattoo of Cher on my stomach, so he very kindly put me next to her.”

Flying out to Croatia last October for three weeks, Joe got to hang out with all the big star names including Colin Firth and Julie Walters.

“It was incredible,” he adds. “Everyone was so nice and jolly. We were like one big family just all going on holiday together.

“I remember the first day just getting to the set was a plane ride, then on a bus and then a boat to this tiny little island.

“They filmed the actual hotel scenes on another island, building it all on the edge of this cliff, it was incredible, the jetty, hotel entrance and this crystal blue sea. It was just magical.”

Back in London, Joe also spent three weeks filming at Shepperton where he got to dance in front of his idol for the film’s finale.

“If nothing else happens to me in my life,” he laughs, “I’ll always have that. A proper memory for life.”

It’s the second ‘wonderful’ experience in as many years for the talented performer after spending most of 2016, and a little of 2017, working with one of the most famous theatre companies in the world, the Royal Shakespeare Company.

While at the RSC, Joe was in three show, Two Noble Kinsmen, The Rover and a new play by Anders Lustgarten called The Seven Acts of Mercy.

“I absolutely immersed myself in the whole process,” Joe says. “I don’t think I left Stratford more than twice while I was there. I soaked up everything I could. It was like going to university, pretty full on working day and night, and not having a day until December of that year but I loved every minute of it. Such a life changing experience, I’ll never forget it.”

As well as Joe, Mamma Mia also features Witham actor, Amy Trigg.

Amy started off on the stage at the New Rickstones Academy in her home town of Witham.

Outside of school she was involved in a number of groups, including the Witham Operatic Workshop, and upon leaving she got a place at the prestigious Mountview Academy in London where she studied musical theatre for three years.

As well as appearing on stage in productions as diverse as Tennessee Williams’ The Glass Menagerie at the Nottingham Playhouse, rock opera Tommy for Ramps on the Moon and the New Wolsey, and most recently a new play called Goth Weekend at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough, Amy has also taken part in the Regional Theatre Young Director Scheme where she assisted on shows such as Much Ado About Nothing and Wind in the Willows.

“The casting director saw me in Tommy,” Amy says, “and asked me in for a meeting. I’m in the French cafe scene with the young Donna played by Lily James and the young Harry played by Hugh Skinner.

“It was a really cool set and because they filmed in 360 it was very detailed. I worked on it for a month, spending two weeks rehearsing that one scene and then another two weeks filming it.

“I have done one short film before but because most of my work has been on the stage this was an incredibly different experience from anything else.”

Mamma Mia is out now in cinemas.

Joe Allen appears in Little Shop of Horrors at Regents Park Open Air Theatre from August 3 to September 15.

To keep up with all of Joe’s adventures go to his Facebook page at @joeallenactor

Tomorrow Amy Trigg will be performing as part of Sadlers Wells at River Stage at the National Theatre on London’s Southbank at 6.35pm.