Abba provided the soundtrack to my growing up. Every one of the hits prompts a memory. Now Abba Super Troupers The Exhibition has come to land at the O2. An exhibition, that makes it cultural, right? Read on for my Abba Super Troupers The Exhibition Review.
ABBA Super Troupers The Exhibition Review
When you walk in you are confronted with a wall of televisions. Not modern oblong wide screen ones but square 1970s one with knobs. On them play clips of the UK in the 70s. Two elections, the three day week, the Smash advert. One piece of international news: a President up for impeachment claiming innocence, some things never change. I’m instantly back, an eleven year old eagerly awaiting the Eurovision Song Contest rooting for Olivia Newton John and Long Live Love.
You step into the next room. The smell of pine forests hits you. You are being transported back to the Folk parks of 1960s Sweden where people would gather to perform and listen to music. It was here that Benny, Bjorn, Anna-Frida and Agnetha meet. My favourite thing in this room? Frida’s lyric folder complete with a Benny Frida love heart.
Ring, Ring, Why don’t you give me a call. Now we are in rooms devoted to the ABBA albums. You start with a giant cover and with a quick run down of what was happening in the world at the time. The Ring Ring room is full of 1970s telephones that you can pick up and listen to.
Waterloo, finally meeting my Waterloo. Well, finally meeting the costumes that ABBA wore for the Eurovision Song Contest. Oh, I wanted those outfits. Part of me still wants to tuck my glittery trousers into knee length boots and I confess that a swirly boho skirt has always had a place in my wardrobe. You can see original footage of the song contest as well but it is the costumes that hold my heart.
You can dance, you can jive. I can remember my Dad coming home brandishing ABBA Arrival, it was the only pop album that he ever bought. You have an audio guide and you can choose what to listen to, the band talking, a commentary or pick album track you want. In the Arrival room there is a full size mock up of the helicopter for you to take your ABBA Arrival photos with.
The winner takes it all, the loser has to fall. I’ve just failed my A levels spectacularly. Every time I hear the song I am back to the feeling of free fall. What now? Everything worked out fine. The winners didn’t take it all. On a cheerier note, Andrew Boardman (no relation) is a bit of an ABBA super fan, his incredible collection of ABBA memorabilia is on display as an accurate reconstruction of his living room.
Supe-p-p-per Troup-p-p-per. It is now the 90s and my friend Lynne is singing her heart out. ABBA Gold a compilation album is riding high in the charts and ABBA are fashionable all over again.
Thank you for the music! You end in a room with a dance floor and a vast screen playing Thank you for the Music. If you grew up in the 70s then this is the exhibition for you, I wanted to go back and see it all again with different choices on my audio guide. Don’t think for a single second that ABBA Gold has not been playing full blast whilst I wrote this.
A quick word about the gift shop. If anybody, and I mean you Mr CW, would like to buy me either the cat T shirt or one of the wraps that would be lovely.
- ABBA: SUPER TROUPERS THE EXHIBITION at THE O2
- Until Monday 31 August 2020
- UPDATE: Due to Covid 19 Abba: Super Troupers will not reopen
- To get to the O2 take the Jubilee Line to North Greenwich or catch a Thames Clipper along the river
- Admission: Adults £27, return ticket for upto 4 returns £59, family and child tickets available.
Abba not your thing (how can that be?) check out my Best London Exhibitions post for inspiration.