21 February 2015
Reviewed by Claire Giles
As a fan of Abba music but being born after the Swedish Supergroups peak of fame and therefore not seen any of their performances I wasn’t sure what to expect.
This was the first time I had been to St. George’s Hall in Bradford. It was easy to find using the directions off their website. St. George’s Hall is right in the centre of Bradford just a few minutes walk from Bradford Interchange railway station and there is a large NCP car park right in front of the theatre. The staff were really friendly and helpful throughout our visit. There were plenty of toilets and two bars inside the theatre meaning you didn’t have to queue long for either.
I went along with a friend on a Saturday night to see Abba Mania. There was a real buzzing atmosphere right from entering the theatre with many people dressed up in Abba inspired outfits. We were seated in the stalls just a few rows from the front. All the seats in the stalls were on the same level and this was fine for most adults but some people with children were struggling to get a clear view and had to resort to sitting children on their knee so that they could see.
The cast was made up of four singers / musicians impersonating Abba backed up by a live band. The overall performance was staged as an Abba concert therefore the stage set remained the same throughout with only costume changes. The singers / musicians performing as Abba were very believable in their roles both vocally and in their characteristics and mannerisms. The dance moves and performances were excellently recreated and the costumes looked authentic. For the first couple of songs everyone was quietly singing and swaying along but by the third song people were up on their feet dancing in the aisles, singing loudly and generally enjoying themselves (myself included!). The party atmosphere was actively encouraged by Abba who got people out of their seats dancing, singing, clapping and finger pointing along to their performance. There was plenty of audience participation throughout the performance. There was a broad spectrum of ages in the audience and young and old audience members were interacting and dancing together. They covered a good selection of Abba songs including all their greatest hits. The vocals were excellent and authentic to the original songs throughout.
This was an excellent night out for all ages, Abba fans new and old. It would appeal to not only Abba fans but those looking for an enjoyable night out. Despite my initial reservations I thoroughly enjoyed myself and would recommend it to all.
Abba Mania is currently on tour around the UK, for more information, tour dates and venues visit www.abbamania.com.
St George’s Hall. Bridge St, Bradford, West Yorkshire, BD1 1JT | 01274 432000