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Orchard welcomes Abba Forever

PUBLISHED: 12:01 13 May 2019

Engery and power, plus some jolly good songs - that's an Abba night

Engery and power, plus some jolly good songs - that's an Abba night

Archant

Everyone loves a bit of Abba and while the Swedish hit-makers continue to enjoy their retirement, tribute bands like Abba Forever fill the space.

Jane as Agnetha always wows audiences. Picture: Sweeney EntertainmentsJane as Agnetha always wows audiences. Picture: Sweeney Entertainments

The Orchard Theatre in Dartford is welcoming their arrival next month.

The unique Abba sound is replicated with an incredible attention to detail, using a six-piece band featuring electric and acoustic guitars, keyboards and piano, drums and bass guitar.

And of course, two outstanding Abba girls complete the line-up, adding the essential glitz and glamour to a well-polished and gently humorous show.

The superb lyrics penned by Benny and Bjorn are sung in wonderful harmony by all six performers on stage.

Dynamic non-stop choreography, stunning visuals and top-class musicianship ensures that the Abba Forever show captivates audiences from the opening refrain to the final sing-along chorus of this two-hour spectacular.

Jane Ellis, who performs as Agnetha in the show, said "I am very fortunate to have the opportunity to perform some of the best songs of all time and tour some of the UK's most prestigious venues and beautiful theatres. We play all the big Abba hits and more, even putting some surprise album tracks in there for the most ardent Abba fan."

Explaining how she got one of the best jobs in entertainment, Jane said: "I was already in the performing industry and having been brought up on Abba with my parents, both my sister and I loved the music so it was such an obvious choice for me. I had also been in a girl band previously, when someone made a throwaway comment that I had a look of Agnetha with this 70s-style hat I was wearing, but at the time I suppose I didn't think anything of it. It wasn't until later, when I was in between jobs as they say, that I decided to do the Abba tribute."

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Sadly, she has never seen the real band live, but said: "We have many people come along to our shows that have. We have studied DVDs and YouTube videos of their concerts and we try to emulate those, obviously on a smaller scale.

"They had full orchestras and many more musicians and artistes on stage with a much bigger budget I'm afraid. However we do have many similar effects as they did and we try to portray the same feel with as much authenticity as possible as an original Abba concert.

"One of my favourite songs is Lay all your Love on Me. Presently we perform a song called I've Been Waiting For You, which is a lesser known album track."

She said: "Some of the band members have been with us for years and others I have known since childhood and have previously worked with them during our early careers in the performing industry. The rest is by an audition process but come from the same region. However, we all share the same passion and focus for the music and making the show the best that it can be."

The shows are complex to put on. Jane said: "There are many costume changes throughout the show and some that are fast changes, so we have

to set out all our costumes beforehand in the correct order with varying boots lined up, generally in the wings as we don't get much time.

"Both leading ladies of Abba are hard acts to follow and were very dynamic and charismatic on stage, so we do try to make our show very visual and high energy. We play all the big Abba hits.

"The music is played live and the musicians try hard to keep the music as authentic as possible."

Abba Forever is at the Orchard Theatre on June 11 at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £28.50 - call the box office on 01322 220000 or book online here orchardtheatre.co.uk.

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