ABBA Super Troupers - The Exhibition, Coming to The O2

I have been a fan of ABBA since the 1970's. My first ever boyfriend at primary school bought me a box of Milk Tray and a copy of the band's single, Super Trouper for Christmas in 1980 and although I cannot remember his name I can remember my delight at the gift.


ABBA
Pic Credit;Michael Ochs Archives - Getty Image


I recall that actually every girl in the glass who had a "boyfriend" got the same Christmas present on the last day of term - Woolworths did well out of what was obviously a group shopping expedition.

I have continued to love the band's music through the lean uncool years and back into their revival where it's no longer considered a bit odd to love the Swedish foursome. On any of those shows where you have to demonstrate you know your partner the question: "What's Afra's favourite band" would be answered easily by just about anyone who knows me.

The question of which is my favourite song by ABBA is trickier for in my opinion there is a song for every mood and my fave changes with my mood.

I defy anyone not to yell out the lyrics to Dancing Queen at any party but I also love Thank You For the Music because until very recent years I was the girl with the golden hair. Check out the pics below of me and Agnetha - almost a separated at birth situation? OK maybe only in my head.

Me

Agnetha from ABBA
Agnetha (Pic Credit Hulton Archive - Getty Images)
I even talked my long suffering friends into going along to my village's film club singalong showing of Mamma Mia in decidedly dodgy costumes. We won the costume competition which wasn't a  huge achievement as most people didn't dress up!


madmumof7 and friends ABBA style


Imagine my delight when I found out that Entertainment Exhibitions International (UK) Ltd (EEI), in association with ABBA The Museum in Stockholm, are bringing ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition to a 14,000 square foot space within London’s home of music, The O2. 

Running from 6th December 2019 to 31st August 2020, the immersive exhibition brings to life the world of chart-topping Swedish pop sensation ABBA (Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid (“Frida”) Lyngstad) in a visitor experience that charts their music, lyrics, creative process and influence as one of the most iconic pop bands of the modern age.

The exhibition has been conceptualised and curated by Jude Kelly CBE, former artistic director at The Southbank Centre, and approved by ABBA.

I'm guessing if you are still reading you are a fan but in case your appreciation started with Mamma Mia, here's a background catchup.
ABBA burst onto the UK music scene with a dazzling win on 6th April 1974 at the Eurovision Song Contest at the Brighton Dome, introducing the irresistible song that would become their first UK chart-topper, “Waterloo”. 

ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition examines ABBA’s rise to global superstardom through a series of atmospheric rooms, exploring each of ABBA’s 8 multi-million selling albums, alongside the band’s personal and public journey. 

Throughout, a specially created audio guide (included in the price of admission) will give context to the developments of the decade, highlighting the global news events and musical soundtrack that defined the era. 

The experience will contain objects from ABBA The Museum and other archives, some of which have not previously been on display in the UK.

Transforming the traditional exhibition experience, this deeply unique take on the ABBA story takes visitors to the heart of the journey of each band member. 

Incorporating lyrics, costumes, instruments, experiential backdrops of the key events and locations that defined and shaped the band, album artwork, photography, film and more, ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition examines the band’s universal popularity. 

From their multi-layered sound to their iconic look, the exhibition goes behind-the-scenes to examine the heavy-weight influence of one of the most enduring acts of all time.
                             
ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition is set to put objects on display that include:

A look at the lives of the band, pre-ABBA, displaying personal items from each musician’s youth including Björn’s school report, his military book and photographs from his time in service, and pictures of a 13-year-old Frida in a jazz band as a beatnik teenager. 

Key items from the height of the band’s heyday, reflecting on both the personal - such as a collection of behind the scenes photos taken of the band on their ‘77 Australian “Arrival” tour – and the professional, with iconic items from the height of their success, including:
  • A limited-edition replica of the ‘Star Guitar’ played at Eurovision ’74, signed by all four members.
  • Over 40 Gold Discs from ABBA’s personal archive including “Dancing Queen”, their biggest selling single, worldwide.
  • A collection of exquisitely designed, image-defining costumes and personal clothing
  • A recreation of super fan, Andrew Boardman’s Manchester living room. A shrine to ABBA memorabilia, Andrew began collecting 40 years ago having fallen under the band’s spell at the first concert of theirs he attended, aged 16. This room explores the notion that ABBA may have the most ardent and committed fans of any contemporary band.



Visitors will be fully immersed in the ABBA story, where highlights of the exhibition’s theatrical staging include taking a stroll through a Swedish folk park as the band’s pre-ABBA successes and folk roots are explored, a recreation of the Eurovision Song Contest stage at the Brighton Dome, where, from lush deep theatre seats, fans will watch the performance before experiencing the excitement of the vote reveal.

There will be  multiple photo-opportunities, where attendees can capture themselves beside a full-sized replica of the helicopter that graced the cover of “Arrival’, replicas of the iconic “Super Trouper” album cover costumes and a life-size replica of the scoreboard that saw ABBA secure Eurovision Song Contest victory.

·   Visitors will also get a glimpse inside the band’s POLAR Studios, where the hard-working pop perfectionists refined their defining harmonised sound, with interactive elements that include a voice recording booth and mixing desk. Ending the experience on a hedonistic high, guests are invited to sing, dance, add to fan mail, explore memorabilia and indeed say “Thank You For The Music” in The Legacy finale, as a specular audio-visual backdrop documents the very best of the band’s monumental success.

ABBA’s Frida Lyngstad said, “We are delighted to support ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition at The O2 following the overwhelming response to our earlier exhibitions in London. From our Eurovision Song Contest win in Brighton in ’74 to the present day, the UK has long held a special place in ABBA’s heart, and we have always strongly felt the love and support of our British fans. It’s with celebration that we work with Jude Kelly CBE towards this major exhibition and can’t wait for fans to discover a host of surprises in December!” 


ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition will be exhibited at The O2, the home of the world’s most successful arena and within an entertainment precinct that includes the new ABBA-inspired immersive theatrical and dining experience, Mamma Mia! The Party.

Pic Credit; ullstein bild Dtl - Getty Images

TICKETS
Tickets are timed with average dwell time of 90 minutes.
Adult £27
Adult Return £59 (up to a maximum of 4 visits)
Child £13.50
Family Ticket £65
Concession £22
Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult

Tickets available at abbasupertroupers.com or by calling 08442 491 000*
Tickets are also available at eventim.co.uk
*Fees apply. Calls cost up to 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge.

OPENING TIMES
Mon - Wed 10.00 until 19.30 (last ticket 18.00)
Thu - Fri 10.00 until 20.30 (last ticket 19.00)
Sat - Sun 09.30 until 19.30 (last ticket 18.00)
Closed 25th December and 1st Jan

Tickets will go on sale to the general public on Friday 13th September.

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