An “immersive” exhibition dedicated to Abba will open later this year at London’s Southbank Centre, exploring the band’s creative process and rise to fame. It will feature previously unseen archival material amid a detailed showcase of set designs, costumes, album artwork, photography, handwritten notes and sketches, music, instruments, and film – including one by director Lasse Hallström.
Abba: Super Troupers promises to “recreate the extraordinary rise to worldwide fame and lasting legacy of Abba, set against the shifting socio-economic and political conditions of the time”. It will put on display the contrast between the band’s “optimistic, carefree pop” and its arrival in 1970s Britain, where a financial crisis and worker strikes were deeply affecting national society.
It also plans to tell the “serious stories behind the unforgettable lyrics” and celebrate the group’s “pioneering” approach to the music video. Theatrical backdrops within the exhibition aim to reenact significant events from their heyday, including a hotel room, music studio and disco.
Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus commented: “Since our songs, which were written in the 70s, are still being played today it’s particularly interesting that the Southbank Centre exhibition is placing them in the temporal context in which they were created.”
Jude Kelly, Southbank Centre’s artistic director, says: “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.”
Abba: Super Troupers opens 14 December 2017 – 29 April 2018. Tickets go on sale 4 July 2017.