Feeling slight trepidatious, I joined the extensive queue which snaked right back to the entrance of the O2 on Monday night (23 September) to experience the phenomenon that is Abba. After being shown to our table where snacks and wine waited for us, the evening was quick to get going with the three acts being performed as the food was brought out. The menu was starters of pure greek origin – tzatziki and taramasalata – then lamb kleftiko and beef flank, and for dessert orange cake and baklava. The portions were generous and our very attentive waitress Lisa attended to our every need. She was a bubble of pure energy and as she also danced between numbers added to the atmosphere of the whole joyous evening.
The songs of Abba are now timeless – made for every generation – and must be considered pop classics. This time around the story is of Adam, played by AJ Bently, with a charm of a lad enjoying his summer working at the Nikos Taverna. He has fallen in love with Konstantina, played by Jukia Imbach, much to her father’s annoyance, played by an excellent Fed Zanni, supported by Steph Parry as Kate his wife. The Abba songbook is extensively used and the whole performance zips along beautifully. The show has very high production values including a wonderful ariel trapeze section that adds magnificently to the fantasy sequence.
With script adaptation by Sandy Toksvig, book by Calle Nolan and Anders Lundin, the original music of Benny Andersson, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Stig Anderson, this concept will run and run. A staggering night or pure immersive escapism where as guests you are right in the heart of the action. Superbly staged by all concerned.
Photos by Helen Maybanks, Tim Baros and Isabelle De Velocity