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.
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 I have withdrawn from ABBA-Frida and have a different life totally nowadays.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’!
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.