Benny Andersson checks out UK CHESS Tour

Benny with Dan Koek

As first mentioned in a tweet by the UK CHESS tour’s Anatoly Sergievsky (played by Daniel Koek), Benny caught the very last UK performance of CHESS last Saturday (9 April) at Glasgow’s Kings Theatre. His appearance at the theatre has even made the Scottish press.

CHESS has been touring the UK since 27 August 2010 and finishes its run with five days in Trieste, Italy opening this evening. It was the recipient of the Best Regional Production 2010 at the What’s On Stage awards in February.

The show’s next stop is Toronto, Canada where it is scheduled to open at the Princess of Wales Theatre in September 2011.

Scotland’s top selling evening newspaper The Evening Times’ Sarah Swain reports:

“He might already know it so well – because he wrote it – but Abba’s Benny Andersson popped in to check on his show Chess in Glasgow. The Abba star, who also penned smash-hit musical Mamma Mia, was at the city’s King’s Theatre on Saturday to see the last night of the production directed by Strictly Come Dancing judge Craig Revel Horwood.

Benny, 64, who wrote the music with fellow Abba member Bjorn Ulvaeus while Sir Tim Rice provided the lyrics, even signed autographs for some fans who spotted him, before heading backstage to meet the cast.

The musical includes the song I Know Him So Well, which was recently a Comic Relief hit for Susan Boyle and comedian Peter Kay.

A spokesman for the King’s Theatre, said: “It must have been very exciting for those sitting beside him in the Grand Circle, and it just goes to show you never know who you might be sitting next to!”

The Swedish singer/songwriter was in Abba from 1972 until 1982. The group found fame after winning the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974 with Waterloo.

Chess, Benny and Bjorn’s first musical, opened in London’s West End in 1986 and played for three years.

It is set against a backdrop of the Cold War as two great chess masters, an American and a Russian, battle it out at the world championships.”

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  • Did he say if he liked the performance or what he thought of it?

  • Apparently Rudy…”he loved it!”

  • Awesome! thanks for that information. I’m glad he loved it rather than disliked it. One thing with Benny he’s very involved in his work. If you watch the making of Kristina Fran Duvemala and the making of Chess he’s always in the studio in the background watching and listening to the orchestra playing. It just goes to show that great and fantastic art still lives, and that passion exists as well. Cheers.

  • I just heard someone called Jai McDowall on Britain’s got talent singing the anthem from chess (a shortened version)from Scotland his being billed as the next Susan boyle, listening to his rendition I have to say at first I wasn’t impressed but but half way through his voice did improved and the song ended well
    apparently from what be was saying before his performance he has a problem with nerves , that’s all very well but he wont get sympathy for that for ever. He also sang with a slight American twang, which seems to be a general problem with talent show contestants, there is nothing wrong with sounding British.
    It will be interesting to se how he progress in the show, but I feel he will have to improve if he is to stay in the contest, which I’m sure he is fully capable of doing.

  • Well he won and he sings a pretty good full version of Anthem on the tour

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