Love ABBA? Then the Super Troupers exhibition at London’s Southbank Centre may just blow your mind….

Here’s some ABBA trivia for you:

  • Did you know that London’s Met Police declined ABBA’s request to shoot the video for ‘Super Trouper’ in Piccadilly Circus?

  • In a ten year career, ABBA only toured for three months in total.

  • Jim Henson’s Creature Shop created puppets of the band members.

04 Björn Ulvaeus and Jude Kelly at the launch of ABBA_ Super Troupers at Southbank Centre credit Victor FrankowskiThe very clever teams at the Southbank Centre and Entertainment Exhibitions International AB, in association with ABBA The Museum in Stockholm bring to life the world of chart-topping Swedish pop sensation ABBA in this immersive exhibition that charts their music, lyrics, creative process and irrefutable influence as one of the most iconic pop bands of the modern age: ABBA: Super Troupers Exhibition.  

Follow the fantastical journey – narrated by Jarvis Cocker and written by journalist and documentary maker Jude Rogers – as you are transported on a journey through nine rooms that recreate significant moments from ABBA’s heyday and get a first-hand view of their extraordinary rise to worldwide fame – set against the shifting socio-economic and political conditions of the time – and the lasting legacy that is ABBA (Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson, and Anni-Frid Lyngstad).

The exhibition contains over 120 archive objects from ABBA The Museum and private archives many being shown for the first time in the UK.  Materials on show include personal memorabilia of the individual band members pre – ABBA: photographs of Frida taking singing lessons and a 13-year old Agnetha at the piano; doodles by Benny on show-notes from their early folk and cabaret days and candid shots of them taken during their international tours. A school report of a then seven-year-old Björn shows a B-minus grade for singing, inspiration to any visitor who then sees the gold discs on display marking record single sales for ABBA hits ‘Ring, Ring’ and ‘Super Trouper’.  Hand-painted white cowboy boots worn by Benny demonstrate the inventive nature of ABBA’s costuming and feature alongside some of the most iconic outfits worn by the band, designed by their long-time collaborator Owe Sandström.  Highlights from the tour archive include a gold and white cape from ABBA’s 1977 Australian tour still bearing the marks of rain-stains from the torrential downpour that caused Frida to slip on stage.

Opening the exhibition, ABBA’s Björn Ulvaeus said, “The UK holds a special place in our hearts so we’re thrilled that this new exhibition #ABBASuperTroupers offers friends old and new the chance to journey back in time and experience a fascinating new perspective on ABBA’s career and the context in which the UK came to know our music. And what better place for the exhibition to take place than at London’s Southbank Centre, a few steps away from Waterloo – a connection that holds very happy memories for us of the song that launched our success in Britain! It gives me great pleasure to return to London for such a happy occasion.”

This show is all about the immersive experience……Step into a recreation of the Brighton hotel suite where ABBA celebrated their Eurovision win, open a cupboard door (yes just like Narnia) and step into a magical fairy lit Swedish forest folk park, take a pue backstage by the caravans at the Sydney Showgrounds during their 1977 Australian tour, head into a 1970s disco and more!!!

Jarvis Cocker said: “I love Abba. You love Abba. My love began when my sister bought “Arrival” in 1976 and played it non-stop for the next 6 months. What’s your story? Why don’t we meet down at the Southbank Centre to compare notes? I would love that….”

Jude Kelly CBE, Southbank Centre’s Artistic Director, said: “ABBA’s music, image and personal stories have the remarkable ability to transcend time, place and generations, and still continue to reach millions of people worldwide. We’re very pleased to take this opportunity to shed new light on these cultural icons, and explore why they remain so enduring in their appeal across the globe. We’re delighted to be joining forces with EEI in association with ABBA The Museum to bring unexplored archives to life, and to pay respect to ABBA and their extraordinary place in pop culture history.”

One of the truly memorable moments of the exhibition for me was when I got to sing ‘Dancing Queen’ in a re-creation of the famous Polar Studios recording studio, formed in 1978 by Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and ABBA’s manager Stig Anderson.  Sadly I couldn’t take a photo of that but I did get a snap of this inspiring song quote… #winning

image3 @SouthbankCentre #ABBASuperTroupers

Exhibition tickets are priced from £15 – £25 and runs until 29 July 2018.  Recommended for ages 7+. Not suitable for toddlers and babes in arms.

Tickets available from / 0203 879 9555


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