Abba Mania Extends to 28 Sep Before Mrs WarrenDate: 5 August 2002
Abba Mania has extended its limited West End season by four weeks. The tribute show to the 1970s Swedish supergroup started performances at the Strand Theatre on 5 June 2002 and had been booking up to 1 September. It will now continue to 28 September, when it must close to make way for Peter Hall's centennial production of Mrs Warren's Profession, starring Brenda Blethyn.
ABBA, Sweden's most famous pop sensation, exploded onto the international music scene in 1974 when they won the Eurovision Song Contest with the hit "Waterloo". They went on to produce some of the biggest hits of the 1970s and early 1980s, including "Dancing Queen", "Take a Chance on Me", "SOS", "Money Money Money", "Knowing Me, Knowing You", "Mamma Mia", "Winner Takes All", "Chiquitita" and "Voulez-Vous".
Unlike Mamma Mia! which fashions a conventional book musical around the group's back catalogue, Abba Mania is a non-stop concert-style rendition of ABBA's many hits. The show stars Isobel Davies, Nigel Hart, Vikki Holland Bowyer and Mark Thomas as the look-and-sound-alikes of Agnetha, Bjorn, Benny and Anni Frid.
Following the tribute show immediately into the Strand will be Hall's landmark revival of George Bernard Shaw's 19th-century classic. In Mrs Warren's Profession, Blethyn takes the title role, making her first stage appearance in five years. The production opens for a 16-week limited season on 10 October 2002 (previews from 2 October).
- by Terri Paddock