Abba Mania, The Grand Theatre’s summer season show, opened this week to an all but full house and added a touch of ‘70s magic to this sunny summer in the resort. This tribute show has been running since 2000 and takes us back in time, recreating one of the world’s finest pop groups in a live stage performance, featuring iconic ABBA hits.
The cast of seven, including backing band, opened the night with Waterloo, the song that won Abba the Eurovision Song Contest in 1974, and it wasn’t long before everyone was clapping along. By the third number the crowd were invited to stand up and dance and then the party really started.
It was heartening to see that all ages were in the audience. Not just the 60 somethings for whom Abba provided the soundtrack to their teen years, but grandmothers, young parents and children were there too -living proof that well over forty years after their Eurovision success, love for the most famous Swedish foursome still survives. And the love of all things Abba has been passed down through the generations to a whole new following. Abba recently reformed to record two new songs due to be released in December- their first new material in 35 years! So ABBA Mania, coming to the Grand for an eight week summer season couldn’t be more timely. That, alongside the release of Mamma Mia 2 at the cinema this week, sets the tone for some all singing and dancing holiday fun.
The four talented Abba performers, along with their backing musicians, kept up the pace for the best part of two hours, energetically reviving all those musical Abba memories for us with a feast of a playlist. All the best known favourites were covered alongside a few lesser known songs that all had the Abba magic. ‘Agnetha’ and ‘Anni-Frid’, barely paused for breath between numbers as they crammed in as many hits as possible.
The atmosphere cranked up a gear in the second half with iconic and nostalgic costumes, a playlist of songs with ever increasing popularity, and a tangible energy bursting forth from the stage that spread from the stalls to the circle and had the audience clapping and finger pointing along.
One highlight was when ‘Bjorn’ put down his guitar and came out to sing lead vocals (avid fans might guess which song) and wowed the crowd with his white catsuit and animated dancing. And special mention to the guitarist in the band who entered into the spirit of Abba throughout and never stopped dancing and smiling.
So as the schools start their summer break and the tourists flock to Blackpool in this glorious summer weather, get your tickets booked and let yourself be transported back to the ‘70s and revel in the glorious Abba music. Bellbottoms and platform boots may be optional but a night of pure feelgood Abba nostalgia is guaranteed. You’ll be in for a super (trouper) night.
And make sure your mother knows.
ABBA Mania will be performing at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre, Tuesday 17 July to Saturday 8 September 2018 (Tuesday to Sundays (excluding 26th Aug)).
Tuesday to Saturday 7:30pm, Thursday and Saturday matinees at 2pm, and a Sunday matinee at 3pm. Tickets £19 to £26, Matinees £21, Under 18s £12.50, Concessions and Group discounts are available.
To book tickets at blackpoolgrand.co.uk, call 01253 290190 or visit Blackpool Tourist Information Centre on the promenade.
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