Entertainment Exhibitions International (UK) Ltd (EEI), in association with ABBA The Museum in Stockholm, are delighted to announce ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition in a 14,000 square foot space within London’s home of music, The O2. Running from 6 December 2019 to 31 August 2020, the immersive exhibition brings to life the world of chart-topping Swedish pop sensation ABBA (Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid (“Frida”) Lyngstad) in a visitor experience that charts their music, lyrics, creative process and influence as one of the most iconic pop bands of the modern age.
The exhibition has been conceptualised and curated by Jude Kelly CBE, former artistic director at The Southbank Centre, and approved by ABBA.
ABBA burst onto the UK music scene with a dazzling win on 6 April 1974 at the Eurovision Song Contest at the Brighton Dome, introducing the irresistible song that would become their first UK chart-topper, “Waterloo”. ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition examines ABBA’s rise to global superstardom through a series of atmospheric rooms, exploring each of ABBA’s 8 multi-million selling albums, alongside the band’s personal and public journey.
Throughout, a specially created audio guide (included in the price of admission) will give context to the developments of the decade, highlighting the global news events and musical soundtrack that defined the era. The experience will contain objects from ABBA The Museum and other archives, some of which have not previously been on display in the UK.
Transforming the traditional exhibition experience, this deeply unique take on the ABBA story takes visitors to the heart of the journey of each band member. Incorporating lyrics, costumes, instruments, experiential backdrops of the key events and locations that defined and shaped the band, album artwork, photography, film and more, ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition examines the band’s universal popularity. From their multi-layered sound to their iconic look, the exhibition goes behind-the-scenes to examine the heavy-weight influence of one of the most enduring acts of all time.
ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition is set to put objects on display that include:
- A look at the lives of the band, pre-ABBA, displaying personal items from each musician’s youth including Björn’s school report, his military book and photographs from his time in service, and pictures of a 13-year-old Frida in a jazz band as a beatnik teenager.
- Key items from the height of the band’s heyday, reflecting on both the personal – such as a collection of behind the scenes photos taken of the band on their ‘77 Australian “Arrival” tour – and the professional, with iconic items from the height of their success, including:
- A limited-edition replica of the ‘Star Guitar’ played at Eurovision ’74, signed by all four members.
- Over 40 Gold Discs from ABBA’s personal archive including “Dancing Queen”, their biggest selling single, worldwide.
- A collection of exquisitely designed, image-defining costumes and personal clothing.
- A recreation of super fan, Andrew and Elizabeth Boardman’s Manchester living room. A shrine to ABBA memorabilia, Andrew began collecting 40 years ago having fallen under the band’s spell at the first concert of theirs he attended, aged 16. This room explores the notion that ABBA may have the most ardent and committed fans of any contemporary band.
Visitors will be fully immersed in the ABBA story, where highlights of the exhibition’s theatrical staging include:
- Taking a stroll through a Swedish folk park as the band’s pre-ABBA successes and folk roots are explored.
- A recreation of the Eurovision Song Contest stage at the Brighton Dome, where, from lush deep theatre seats, fans will watch the performance before experiencing the excitement of the vote reveal.
- Multiple photo-opportunities, where attendees can capture themselves beside:
– A full-sized replica of the helicopter that graced the cover of “Arrival’”
– Replicas of the iconic “Super Trouper” album cover costumes.
– A life-size replica of the scoreboard that saw ABBA secure Eurovision Song Contest victory.
- A glimpse inside the band’s POLAR Studios, where the hard-working pop perfectionists refined their defining harmonised sound, with interactive elements that include a voice recording booth and mixing desk.
- Ending the experience on a hedonistic high, guests are invited to sing, dance, add to fan mail, explore memorabilia and indeed say “Thank You For The Music” in The Legacy finale, as a specular audio-visual backdrop documents the very best of the band’s monumental success.
ABBA’s Frida Lyngstad said: “We are delighted to support ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition at The O2 following the overwhelming response to our earlier exhibitions in London. 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. It’s with celebration that we work with Jude Kelly CBE towards this major exhibition and can’t wait for fans to discover a host of surprises in December!”
Jude Kelly CBE, Curator, added: “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. It was a great pleasure to see the extraordinary response and enduring respect of fans from all around the world during previous ABBA exhibitions in London. I am delighted to work with EEI and ABBA The Museum to present ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition at The O2 and to be able to take visitors deeper into the incredible legacy that is the ABBA story.”
Ingrid Sutej of Entertainment Exhibitions International (UK) Ltd (EEI) continued: “EEI is delighted to be working alongside ABBA and Jude Kelly to realise Jude’s vision of one of the most incredible cultural stories of our time. This all-new creative concept takes a different approach to telling the ABBA story through an immersive experience that will show the band and their remarkable legacy to fans in a new light.”
ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition will be exhibited at The O2, the home of the world’s most successful arena and within an entertainment precinct that includes the new ABBA-inspired immersive theatrical and dining experience, Mamma Mia! The Party.
ABBA: Super Troupers The Exhibition is running at the o2 arena from Friday 6 December 2019 – Monday 31 August 2020. To book tickets visit https://www.abbasupertroupers.com/
Photo credit: Michael Ochs Archives / Getty Images