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What to expect from 'ABBA Voyage' in London

Marianka Swain
Marianka Swain

ABBA are back! Fans have been dreaming for years of a reunion from the world-conquering Swedish pop band, whose four famous members – Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad – last played together in public back in 1982 before they parted ways. ABBA Voyage is that dream come true, though with a futuristic twist: the quartet will appear as digital avatars, specially created for this unique immersive concert experience.

This is the perfect time for ABBA Voyage to begin, hot on the heels of the Eurovision Song Contest. In 1974, Eurovision vaulted ABBA to fame with their winning entry “Waterloo”. The song went on to become a number one hit in numerous countries, including the UK, and “Waterloo” is still renowned as one of the greatest ever Eurovision winners, thanks to its catchy tune and ABBA’s flamboyant styling. In fact, it was picked as the best song in Eurovision history during the competition’s 50th anniversary celebration in 2005.

ABBA used that Eurovision platform to become a global sensation, and the band’s legacy has been burnished through everything from record-setting greatest hits albums to stage musicals, movies, and now this cutting-edge show in a purpose-built arena that brings ABBA’s music to life once again. Wondering what to expect at ABBA Voyage? Here is our definitive guide.

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What is ABBA Voyage?

Book to see the original members of ABBA performing their own songs in ABBA Voyage through their avatar counterparts, giving you the thrilling sensation of being at a live concert – something that many fans won’t have had the chance to experience.

ABBA Voyage features avatars of the pop quartet, which were created during an intensive five-week shoot in Stockholm. The concert’s producers Svana Gisla and Ludvig Andersson along with director Baillie Walsh and choreographer Wayne McGregor used motion capture technology via 160 cameras to lock in every distinctive element of the pop stars’ live interpretations.

They then teamed up with CGI wizards Industrial Light & Magic to blend those versions with ABBA in their heyday: 1979. It’s the best of both worlds, giving us ABBA reunited today, but with the added magic of the look and dynamism of the band at their incredible performance peak.

What will you see at ABBA Voyage?

Those avatars, based on the reunited Agnetha Fältskog, Björn Ulvaeus, Benny Andersson and Anni-Frid Lyngstad perform every single number. The singers are backed by a live 10-piece band, accompanying ABBA’s avatars on all their hits and bringing that immersive energy to the room. Pioneering lighting, audio and special effects are used to blur the boundaries between the digital and the physical, so that the singers and band are all part of one joyful show. It’s a whole new version of the concert experience – and a great night out.

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Where is ABBA Voyage?

Since there was no venue quite suitable for this incredibly ambitious, innovative concert, the creative team built a brand-new space for it. Welcome to the 3,000-seat ABBA Arena, situated at London’s Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. ABBA now make music history where our athletes once made sporting history.

The ABBA Arena is a “flat-pack” design, so could potentially move elsewhere in future, but for now London is the only place in the world that you can see ABBA Voyage – so get booking. If you want to get closer to the action and boogie along to every single number, make sure you book the Dance Floor tickets.

When is ABBA Voyage?

Happily, there are plenty of opportunities to see the 100-minute concert – once, twice, or more! There are seven ABBA Voyage performances a week, taking place on Monday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday evenings, as well as matinees on Saturday and Sunday. Doors open 1 hour and 45 minutes before the start time, so you can buy food and drink and enjoy the feverish atmosphere of ABBA mania.

Which songs will be performed at ABBA Voyage?

That’s the big question, with a simply phenomenal back catalogue to choose from. Plus many of those indelible songs are immortalised by the greatest hits album ABBA Gold, which has sold an astonishing 30 million copies, as well as by Mamma Mia! on stage and the two movie-musicals – not to mention Cher’s subsequent ABBA cover album, Dancing Queen.

So, you’ll almost certainly find plenty of your long-time favourites on the 20-strong set list of ABBA Voyage, which was selected by the band themselves.

But that’s not all. When ABBA reunited, they also created their ninth studio album, Voyage, especially for the concert. There are 10 songs on the album, including the popular singles “I Still Have Faith in You" and “Don’t Shut Me Down" which are both featured in the set list. So, expect an exciting mix of all-time greats and never-before-seen material at ABBA Voyage. Exactly what you need to bring out your inner dancing queen!

Book ABBA Voyage tickets on London Theatre.

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Photo credit: ABBA Voyage (Photo courtesy of production)

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