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Guys & Dolls theatre review

ABBA Voyage Review | What we thought

One of our team went to see ABBA Voyage and had the time of their life – here's what they thought…

It was 11th December 1982 and ABBA was set to take the stage for the last time as a group. Unfortunately, I was yet to be born and as a result, my chance to see ABBA in concert passed due to poor timing or what others call being born at the wrong time.

A little flare

That was until the fates intervened and in 2022 ABBA Voyage was launched. Taking cutting-edge technology, and amazing lighting to show the group in a way that they have never seen before. To be honest, I was sceptical, how were they going to show this group in a way that I couldn't now see them at home? Because let's face it, who doesn't love an ABBA dance party in their living room?

I could not have been more wrong. The experience starts the minute the purpose-built arena comes into sight as the massive letters A-B-B-A on the outside are hard to miss, let alone the ABBA songs they are blasting out to greet you as you walk up to the venue. The final clue into what awaits you might be some of your fellow concert attendees who have dressed up in their 70s finest for the occasion, so don't be scared to live your ABBA fantasy and change up your outfit, as you won't be the only one! A little flare never hurt anyone.

With a bit of music to dance along to, the short journey through bag check and into the main reception didn't seem as bad. This is where I would say that ABBA fever starts, so make sure you get in with a bit of time to spare. There are bars for you to grab a drink at while you're marvelling at what could only be described as a disco roof and of course, the merch shop which is always worth a look. While you can get the mandatory concert t-shirt they also sell a huge variety of merch from hats to posters.

Make a night of it

Dance until the early hours with an overnight stay and breakfast included at a top London hotel.

Be a dancing queen

When you choose your tickets there are a few things to think about, the main one being, "Can I stand for 90 minutes or will I need to sit down?" I urge you to be honest with yourself as you have the choice of 'Dancefloor' or seated tickets. With dancefloor tickets, you're close to the main stage with plenty of room for a dance (as the name would suggest), this is where I was for my visit and if you think you can manage it I would say do it, as I danced along to every single song along with nearly every other person in the standing crowd.

That's not to say you can't be a dancing queen from a seated ticket, which does give you the option to sit down if you need it. Don't worry too much as according to the venue, every seat is a good one in their arena.

If you do get the standing tickets, try to get as near to the middle as possible, both from the stage and also the sides, as in my opinion, this is where you would get the best view of the avatars. Yes, I said avatars which we will talk about shortly.

You've got your spot, so let's move on to the show which has been carefully put together by all four members of ABBA, mixing the physical and digital to create the show they always wanted. When you walk into the purpose-built main hall it's already impressive – everything is nice and new, built to give you the very best experience possible.

The greatest hits

Then the music starts and you realise what you've seen up until this point is nothing. When Agnetha, Björn, Benny and Anni-Frid come onto the stage you'd be forgiven for thinking that they were real. Because, honestly, it could have fooled me. Now, taking pictures and videos is forbidden, otherwise I would have shown you exactly what they look like – you'll just have to see for yourself. It wasn't worth the risk as you can be removed from the hall if you do take photos. And I doubt it would do them justice anyway.

Once ABBA entered the stage you would think that this is where they would stay, but no, mixed in with their performance of some of their greatest hits that we all know and love is an animated story which happens at different points in the concert until the full story is told. The animation is truly incredible and it tells a great story, so make sure you pay attention!

One thing I didn't know when going to this concert was that there was in fact a live band playing all of the music with live backing singers. What a shock it was when they rose from the side to reveal themselves, it turns out that only ABBA's vocals are recorded and to be honest you'd think they were live too. Not only did the band get a massive round of applause at the end of the show but they also had a song all to themselves to make their own in the middle. The backing singers got to take the lead role and we got to witness the full band showing off their talents. It was an amazing moment when the whole crowd got behind them and with their level of talent they fully deserved every cheer.

Instead of being taken back in time to when ABBA last performed, ABBA got transported to 2024, with an AI upgrade and an impressive light show to wow their audience all over again. Those 90 minutes will fly by and if you're anything like me then the moment you leave the arena you will want to go straight back in.