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London Theatre News Today: Wednesday 7 April

Published 7 April 2021

ABBA MANIA returns to the West End for the first time in 19 years

After a year of silence on the West End, audiences are invited to dust off their flares to become a Dancing Queen and say ‘Thank You For The Music’ with ABBA MANIA. Last seen in the West End nearly two decades ago, the world’s number one touring ABBA tribute concert is back by popular demand this May. Coming to the Shaftesbury Theatre, it’s the perfect party as we head out of lockdown!

Playing at the Shaftesbury Theatre from 21 May – 6 June 2021, ABBA MANIA brings to life ABBA’s last ever concert in an exhilarating two-hour production celebrating the timeless joy of their songs. Featuring the Swedish supergroup’s irresistible music, fantastic costumes and electrifying staging, this concert is perfect for life-long ABBA fans and newcomers alike. Dig out your platforms and enjoy all your favourite hits including Mamma Mia, Voulez Vous, Dancing Queen, Winner Takes It All, Waterloo, Fernando, Does Your Mother Know, Super Trouper and many more.

ABBA MANIA have delighted more than three million audience members since their formation in 1999, performing over 3,000 live shows in 30 countries across the world – from Germany to Tahititi, Sweden to Venezuela, USA to Australia. For the first time since 2002, West End audiences will have the opportunity to relive the iconic era when ABBA ruled the airwaves.

ABBA MANIA producer, Todd Littlewood said: “There’s nothing more perfect for reopening of the West End than the belt-out, feel-good music of ABBA. It’s been a tough year and as audiences begin to take their seats in auditoriums once again, we can’t wait to return to where it all began for ABBA MANIA and make sure that joy is ABBA-solutely centre stage.”

Following its West End season ABBA MANIA will tour as part of Sounds In The Grounds and The Legends Festival, followed by a full UK tour this autumn. There will also be a 55-date US tour, a debut Russian tour and a 25-date arena tour in France throughout 2021 and 2022.

Producers of Six to develop four new British musicals

Wendy & Andy Barnes of Perfect Pitch are also producers of’ SIX’

New musical production company Perfect Pitch and worldwide theatrical licensing house Broadway Licensing have today announced a new partnership that will see the commission, development, production and licensing of four new British musicals, as 7 existing Perfect Pitch titles join the Broadway Licensing catalogue.

Perfect Pitch founders Wendy & Andy Barnes, who are also producers of the international hit musical ‘SIX’, have been developing new musicals for over 15 years with the help of partners around the UK. Remarking on the new collaboration they said, “What is fantastic about this partnership is the wide spectrum of musicals that it reaches and the sheer number of British writers whose musicals it supports. It provides us an opportunity to share across the world many of the musicals we have developed over the years, whilst giving us access to seed funding for exciting new projects.”

The first new show selected for the partnership is Jack Godfrey’s sung-through musical ‘42 Balloons’, which tells the story of Larry Walters and Carol Van Deusen, who, in July 1982, constructed an aircraft using a lawn-chair and approximately 42 weather balloons and launched Larry 16,000 feet into the sky above LA. It is a story about lifelong dreams, and doing whatever it takes to achieve them.

Full cast 1, LIFT (Photo: Darren Bell)

One of the seven musicals to find itself a home with Broadway Licensing is Craig Adams and Ian Watson’s musical ‘LIFT’, which starred both Cynthia Erivo and George Maguire before their respective Tony and Olivier wins. ‘LIFT’ is joined by ‘Hamilton’ cast member Aaron Lee Lambert’s chamber musical ‘From Up Here’, and ‘The House of Mirrors and Hearts’ by Eamonn O’Dwyer and Robert Gilbert, which received its premiere at Arcola theatre in 2015.

The other titles joining Broadway Licensing’s portfolio are ‘The 45th Marvellous Annual Chatterley Village Fête’ by Susannah Pearse and Rebecca Applin, ‘The Lost Christmas’ by Laurence Mark Wythe, ‘Danni Hero’ also by Wythe and Timothy Knapman, and Dougal Irvine’s futuristic musical ‘In Touch’.

With the pop-fuelled concert Six transforming into a world-wide hit, we’re certain these amazing new productions will be just as brilliant. If you’re yet to see Six or would like to learn more about the musical that everyone’s been losing their heads over, click here.


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