BBC Radio 4 play featuring Frida – Like An Angel Passing Through My Room (Updated with iPlayer link)

Frida appears as herself in a radio play broadcast next week on BBC Radio 4

Radio 4 will be broadcasting an intriguing play next week called Like An Angel Passing Through My Room. The 45-minute broadcast will be aired on Wednesday 16 February at 2.15 pm.

Press release:

This is a story about the unconditional love of a devoted fan, written by and starring Christopher Green.

In summer 2006, Christopher met Anni-Frid Lyngstad, also known as Frida from Abba. Christopher was the after-dinner entertainment and Frida was a dinner party guest. What started as an “I’m your biggest fan” conversation turned into a long chat about the nature of loving someone you have never met.

This play is about being a fan. It is about a real and an imagined intimacy. Christopher Green journeys back through events in his past when his life has intersected with Frida’s. Events such as being aged nine and singing like Frida in music and movement; seeing Frida as a red-haired role model; and writing a one-man show about Abba with Björn and Benny’s approval.

When they finally meet, they realise they have more in common than either of them could possibly know.

The programme features Christopher Green as himself and Anni-Frid Lyngstad as herself, with other parts played by Lloyd Thomas and Leah Brotherhead.

Producer/Claire Grove for the BBC

Frida quotes from the broadcast

With thanks to Kaarin Goodburn.

Some Frida interview quotes (paraphrased in places) from this play that was broadcast on 16 Feb:

On Ruzzo’s death:

It takes quite a long time to get back again to life – and it has taken me a long time I must honestly say. Music was more a comfort to me than something I would actively do myself. I think my life became quiet for some years. That has affected a lot of my desires in life and I can feel that my desires are very small nowadays. I don’t have many desires…. To get away from the big things and think of the small details, I take comfort in that.

On being asked to be interviewed for the play:

I really thought about it, carefully, thoroughly as a matter of fact because I have actually stopped doing interviews at all. I have withdrawn from ABBA-Frida and have a different life totally nowadays. I don’t want to be misinterpreted because I wanted to come out the way I feel in my heart … And that’s why I stopped it. I wanted to honest and straight from my heart.

On her various hairstyles over the years:

You know I never had that self confidence and some days I have that lack of self confidence still. And I think I’ve you’ve not found your identity, which also took me a long time to find, you experiment with different hairstyles and clothing and fashion. You’re actually looking for your identity in those changes.

Re: the post-Benny haircut for Something’s Going On:

That haircut was a radical way of showing my freedom.

On recording Like An Angel Passing Through My Room (the song):

Benny and I had just separated. We were still working together… I think I do like that song a lot too, maybe as it has another depth maybe for me and maybe the listener.. because of the way I recorded it. It had so many depths because what Benny and I had gone through and the divorce and that we were actually not a couple any longer – it was a kind of farewell to something that had been.. a comfort zone. I remember thinking ‘sing it the way I feel it and don’t you tell me how to sing it’!

On fans:

Looking back at all the letters from fans and also the meetings with fans you know I understand deeply the psychological depth of it too because many of them are very lost and maybe they have difficult lives or maybe they have very happy lives but maybe they have something missing all the time too.

As to whether this put pressure on her in terms of being able to help fans:

It was never a pressure because, as you say, I cannot help these people. They have already been helped in a way with our music. So I look upon it as that would’ve probably been a healing process for them. But you know I’m a human being and get touched by reading those letters and some of them are very very open and tell the story so that I even cry because of the seriousness of it. But I answer, but not in a very personal way. It’s more like I want to show them that I have taken part in their story, I have read it and it has touched me. I think that is a help in a way.

When saying goodbye to Frida Christopher Green (the narrator and playwrite) told her his husband was dying of cancer. she said:

Nothing will ever be the same again and eventually one day you’ll realise – and this is hard – you don’t want it to.

At the end of the play it was noted that Frida had sent Christopher a condolence card when his husband died (in 2009, a few months after the interview), saying she had heard his news and was thinking of him.

Green commented that he realised that he and Frida are simply two human beings making the best of their fears.

Available on iPlayer for 7 days following broadcast

Related link

Photos of Cristopher Green with Frida
BBC Radio 4 – Like An Angel Passing Through My Room
Press notice
Christopher Green interviews Frida – New link!

22 Replies to “BBC Radio 4 play featuring Frida – Like An Angel Passing Through My Room (Updated with iPlayer link)”

  1. WOW! This does sound intersting. I wonder if Frida will be reading from a script written by Chris (and if so, sound ‘real’) or will be featured using recordings of her natural responses in the discussion/interview?

  2. Thanks for letting us know about this. Sounds interesting, and I will be tuned-in next Wednesday.
    Kevin

  3. For those who do not follow icethesite on facebook, and haven’t seen my comment there, The TV and Radio listings magazine ‘Radio Times’ has a two page article about this show. Worth looking at!

    Gareth

  4. This is a one-of-a-kind interview and I found it to be very emotional on many levels. Christopher Green is a true talent and a lucky man to have had this opportunity to meet with Frida and produce such an amazing piece. Congratulations, Christopher and thank you ICE for sharing…as always!

    Jim in San Francisco

  5. I’ve heard a sneak preview of this and it is truly beautiful…..sad and poignant,but also very funny. It is littered with Abba adecdotes and references, and Chris is obviously a true fan. The interview snippets are brief, but touching, and they are her real, genuine responses, not a script.

  6. Gareth, thanks for pointing THAT out., I hadn’t seen it. BTW it’s on page 116 of
    Radio Times.
    Kevin

  7. Wow, this is something VERY UNUSUAL, I had heard about it before now but thought it just an interview, I’ll be tuned in. By the way I’m NOT on Twitter or facebook so that’s to Gareth for putting those postings on here also.. Regards, Noel

  8. For all those who have heard this earlier, or have access to BBC’s iPlayer, I hope you all agree what a wonderful piece of radio this was. I knew it was going to be moving, however I had completely underestimated how moving it would be, Tears in eyes just thinking about it. As well as the actual subject matter, I think we will all relate to certain aspects, and we may all learn something about ourselves that we either knew or were trying to hide.

    Thank you Christopher, Frida and the BBC!

    Gareth

  9. I listened earlier to it when broadcast and I agree with Gareth that the play is very moving and touching and funny also from both Christopher and Frida..
    I also thought it very interesting hearing Frida describe the recording of Like an angel passing through my room in the studio with Benny…a very honest comment from her there over her vocal..

  10. Wow! not what I had expected. So poignant, sad and yet so uplifting! Once again we see Frida’s ability to choose to be apart of something that matters. A lovely glimpse of a superstar connecting with a fan in a real way. This play will have me thinking deeply for quite a while, me thinks. Thank you to all involved.

  11. I just finished listening to the Christopher Geen’s amazing radio play/ interview with Frida. I was not familiar with Mr Geen but found myself drawn into the web he spun as he shared a story that grew more personal with each minute. The result was not what I expected as the depth of the conversation raised questions and memories from my own life I was not expecting.

    Gareth said it very well. See above.. Don’t miss the chance to hear this. It will shake you. It is very well done.

    Thanks to Christopher for the writing, Frida for her honest comments and advice, the BBC for the broadcast and, of course, ICE for keeping us in the loop.

    David

  12. I can identify with this. In November 1979 i met Frida and Agnetha. I was taken back to the Green room at Wembley Arena. I was lucky enough to be able to talk freely with them. Agnetha was my “idol” who i identified with, removed, lost in many ways lonely. Frida on the other hand was so “warm”, she sent me a letter which i still read to this day, at the top of the page is a “image” of a bird with Frida`s head on it…..it explains her plans for the coming year (1980)…..This was a huge part of my life…in many ways it shaped my future.

  13. Must agree this was a beautiful piece of writing and very much captured so many aspects of my own life and thoughts (in relation to the wonderful Frida and her work, both with Abba and solo – loved the use of Ensam songs during the piece) it was like going back in time and experiencing all those wonderful feelings when a new song was released, the excitement of the first hearing of it on the radio before it was released etc.

    The genuine love for Frida’s voice and personality comes flowing from the text and beautifully explains the effect she had in many ways on Christopher’s life. It was also extremely touching to learn how their lives became connected in a real way and the compassion they had for each other’s difficult situations. It was refreshing to see a piece about fame that was not about the glamour and glitz of it all, but rather the humanity that we all share famous or otherwise.

    The piece has so many beautiful thoughts and emotions within it that it
    perfectly reflects the beauty and emotion of the song itself. It’s an inspiring piece and made me feel very warm and grateful for the way in which, because of my own love for Frida and for Abba’s music, I can understand and associate with many additional layers of the story that perhaps the average BBC listener will not associate with quite so strongly.

    I hope this gets many listens on iPlayer and great feedback from its audience.

    RJS

  14. I have just listened to this play on iplayer……….it blew me away….I feel very moved.
    I have a question…..do we people from ICETHESITE ever get round to meeting-up?

    Kevin

  15. No Cristopher – I WAS THE ANGRIER PERSON ABOUT THOSE DAMN JIM’LL FIX IT GIRLS!! ;0)
    A very funny piece I thought.

  16. I enjoyed listening to this very much. And how nice to see all the hugely positive comments on here from those that feel the same. I thought Frida came across wonderfully, and Christopher told his story in a way that was both entertaining and very moving. I cried all the way through the last 15 minutes.

  17. Great play – not what I expected at all. Frida came across as a person with such warmth and a sense of responsibility fro her fans.
    Her comments regarding the obsessive fans and lonely people says much for why Agnetha and herself got fed up with their solo careers and I thought she phrased it very well without causing offense – I wonder how much some people will identify with what she said and allow her to live her life without a barrage of demands?
    Both her words and Christopher’s regarding losing someone close really struck a chord with me.
    If you’ve not heard it yet it’s so worth listening to.

  18. @ Kevin Sullivan: Great idea! All ICE fans should come to San Francisco for a weekend! I’ll host! Can you imagine the fun?!?

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