BWW Review: ABBA: SUPER TROUPERS – THE EXHIBITION, The O2

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BWW Review: ABBA: SUPER TROUPERS – THE EXHIBITION, The O2BWW Review: ABBA: SUPER TROUPERS – THE EXHIBITION, The O2Chances are that even if you aren't a fan of pop music, you could sing along to more than one of ABBA's hits. And you've almost certainly busted a move or two to Dancing Queen at a school disco, a birthday party or a wedding.

Such is the global appeal of their music that 2013 saw the opening of an entire museum dedicated to the group in Stockholm (ABBA The Museum). But now fans and the semi-curious alike can take the much shorter trip to London's O2 to see a long-term exhibition exploring the band's history.

Approved by Agnetha, Björn, Benny, and Anni-Frid themselves, this beautifully-curated exhibition takes the visitor from the band's formation right through to its end, with themed rooms dedicated to each of their eight albums.

The rooms showcase a mix of information about the writing and content of the albums, together with the personal and historical contexts surrounding the band's creative processes.

BWW Review: ABBA: SUPER TROUPERS – THE EXHIBITION, The O2There's also a plethora of artefacts to enjoy - everything from personal notebooks and photographs to replicas of some of the group's most recognisable costumes and instruments, and numerous gold discs from the band's personal collections.

In amongst the album-themed rooms are a few other treats.

For fans of Eurovision, there's a room dedicated their iconic winning performance of Waterloo at the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest, held in Brighton. Settle into a theatre seat and watch video of the band performing, admire the quartet's extraordinary outfits and a life-sized recreation of the Eurovision scoreboard, and cast an eye over some hand-written sheet music of the Waterloo orchestration.

BWW Review: ABBA: SUPER TROUPERS – THE EXHIBITION, The O2Towards the end of the exhibition, there's a recreation of the living room of ABBA superfan Andrew Boardman, stuffed with hundreds of pieces of memorabilia.

Further testament to the band's ability to touch lives with their music, there's also a case full of fan mail sent to the band from countries as diverse as Brazil, Nigeria, Sri Lanka, Japan and even Iraq. It's a beautiful demonstration of how people all around the world have said Thank You For the Music.

BWW Review: ABBA: SUPER TROUPERS – THE EXHIBITION, The O2The exhibition is accompanied by a high-quality interactive audio guide, narrated by BBC presenter Gamma Cairney, which provides an introduction to each of the rooms together with additional content, including some brand new interviews with the band.

Like ABBA's music, this is an exhibition that should have broad appeal. The casual observer can learn more about the band, their history and music, more hardcore fans will enjoy the detail and personal artefacts... and most will find it hard to resist the opportunity to cut some shapes on the dance floor in the disco room!

ABBA: Super Troupers - The Exhibition is on at the O2 until the end of August 2020

Photo credit: Emma Watkins



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