On Friday 6 December ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition opened at London’s O2 Arena.
Set to a backdrop of Britain in the 1970s, the exhibition examines ABBA’s rise from Swedish folk artists to global superstardom through a series of atmospheric rooms exploring each of their 8 multi-million selling albums, alongside the band’s personal and public journey.
As you stroll around the creatively displayed exhibits, a specially recorded audio guide and TV screens showing old news reels give context to the developments of the decade, highlighting the global events and musical soundtrack that defined the ABBA era.
The idea for the exhibition was conceptualised by Jude Kelly CBE, former Artistic Director at The Southbank Centre. She says:
“ABBA’s music, image and personal stories not only gripped a generation, but have the transcendental ability to continue to engage millions of fans of all ages across the globe today… I am delighted to be able to take visitors deeper into the incredible legacy that is the ABBA story.”
Produced with the full support of the four ABBA members, in association with Stockholm’s ABBA The Museum, the displays, which fill 14000 square feet of exhibition space, incorporate costumes, instruments, lyrics, album artwork, photography, film and more, some of which have not previously been seen in the U.K.
Ingmarie Halling, Creative Director and Curator of ABBA The Museum told us:
“Having a space such as this to work with is a curator’s dream, you can do so much. You can allow your imagination to go wild with all the possibilities. The difficulty becomes knowing when to stop as well as finding the balance between displaying the right content for casual ABBA fans right through to ABBA die hards and still give both types reason to visit the original museum in Stockholm.”
The fully immersive experience includes plenty of interactive elements. Guests can test their ABBA knowledge with quizzes, sing along to their favourite tracks in the recording booth, try their hand at the mixing desk or have a dance on the Voulez-Vouz nightclub floor.
There are also, of course, many photo opportunities throughout the exhibition, such as sitting inside a helicopter cockpit like the one that graced the cover of Arrival or in a reproduction of the interior of Polar Music Studios where many of the band’s hits were recorded.
Before leaving, visitors are given an insight into the popularity and influence ABBA still hold today as they are invited to explore and reminisce at a mock-up of super-fan Andrew Boardman’s living room containing thousands of items of memorabilia.
ABBA’s Anni-Frid (Frida) Lyngstad says:
“From our Eurovision Song Contest win in Brighton in ’74 to the present day, the UK has long held a special place in ABBA’s heart, and we have always strongly felt the love and support of our British fans. We are delighted to support Jude Kelly towards this major exhibition and can’t wait for fans to discover a host of new surprises!”
ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition is scheduled to run at The O2 (which is also home to the new ABBA-inspired theatrical and dining experience, Mamma Mia! The Party), until 31st August 2020. If successful in London, there are tentative plans for it to go on tour to other cities around the globe.
Tickets are on sale now at: www.abbasupertroupers.com