Opening this December, ABBA: Super Troupers is an interactive exhibition coming to London’s Southbank Centre – just footsteps from Waterloo.
Fans of the Swedish pop superstars will be able to experience life in the recording studio with the band. Only 17 visitors at a time will be able to enjoy this intimate experience, featured as part of the Southbank’s Nordic Matters festival.
The four-month-long attraction is being created by Entertainment Exhibitions International AB in partnership with ABBA The Museum. For the first time in the UK, it will bring previously-unseen objects from the Stockholm venue together with items the group’s private archives.
The Brighton Grand Hotel room, where ABBA stayed during the 1974 Eurovision Song Contest which catapulted them to international fame following their victory with the song Waterloo, will be recreated in all its glory. Visitors will also see a replica of the band’s Polar recording studio, the laboratory where they created their pop masterpieces, as well as a 1970s disco.
Juxtaposing the musical joy
In addition, original ABBA costumes, handwritten notes and sketches, personal photographs, music and instruments, will be on display. The exhibition will also place ABBA’s optimistic songs in the context of a mid-70s Great Britain mired in economic failure and industrial disputes and trace their influence on successive generations of pop.
“We are so excited that the exhibition is taking place just a few short steps away from Waterloo,” says ABBA vocalist Frida Lyngstad.
ABBA: Super Troupers will run from December 14 to April 7, 2018. Its arrival in the Southbank Centre’s Yellow Room precedes a virtual reality ABBA live experience believed to be launched later next year (location to be confirmed).
Museum shows celebrating seminel musicians no longer on the touring circuit can be big business. In 2016, the V&A’s David Bowie exhibition experienced record ticket sales records. The London museum, which has also staged a show featuring costumes worn by the singer Kylie Mingogue, is currently hosting a Pink Floyd exhibition.
Image: ABBA The Museum, courtesy Visit Stockholm