Mamma Mia had finished, and rather than going straight into the next song, the house lights came up and we were plunged back into light. An announcement said something along the lines of ‘we’ve had a technical issue and we’ve had to stop the show. We’ll be back as soon as we can!’
Audience were booing, but we thought it would be like five mins. People went to the toilet and got drinks, and it was fine. It was a cute interval. We thought we’d be back any second.
An hour passes! There was an announcement every 15 minutes or so saying ‘we’re still working on it, hopefully be back soon!’ The general atmosphere began to change. I’m pretty sure there were some people who left. The rumour going around was that surely something had gone irreparably wrong and that it was gonna be called off. Surely after an hour whatever it was wasn’t gonna be fixed. There were some girls from Sweden in front of us who were literally distraught because they’d flown over. One of the stewards was speaking to us saying that this had never happened before, and they seemed as clueless as we were. We were minutes away from leaving.
And then! The announcement was back. ‘Really sorry for all that but we are back in business!’ And straight into ‘Does Your Mother Know’. Pretty surreal experience, and I’d be lying if I said it didn’t take some of the momentum of things, but I still absolutely loved it. The crowd in the second half were even more feral than before, I suppose with delight that the show wasn’t cancelled after all.
Ironically, my biggest gripe before the interval was that the audience were seated the whole time. I was itching for everyone to throw themselves in the air. Everyone was so muted and it was pissing me off. But after the interval, the audience was super receptive and willing to give it their all, and we barely sat down for the rest of the show.
And what a fucking fantastic show it was. What a treat to start with an underrated gem as brilliant as ‘The Visitors’. ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’ is surely laced with crack. ‘Dancing Queen’ remains the pinnacle of all music. Their discography is just absolutely wretchedly good. Like honestly what the fuck is wrong with them. We screamed along to every word, and although the reaction to the non-ABBA Gold tracks was slightly more muted, the audience was super generous and un-cynical, and were totally up for giving it their all and playing along with the game.
The actual spectacle of the show was … spectacular. ABBA really were up on that stage. The effects are so good in the flesh, and the lights and the band and the staging really added to the authenticity of the show. It was fucking brilliant.
Overall, a stunning experience. I would encourage anyone to go. I’d like to see it again without the break to see how it differs, but I suppose it made my show unique!