Format: Music Show
Genre: Rock & Pop
Review Date: March 8 2020
Performance: March 8 2020
Location: Epstein Theatre, Liverpool
Duration: 136 Minutes incl. Interval
Age Rating: 8+
ABBA Forever came to Liverpool’s Epstein Theatre last night, and it made for a highly enjoyable evening of music and dance.
ABBA have one of the strongest discographies possible for a live show, and so there were plenty of recognisable tunes from the get-go. Money Money Money kicked things off on a high note, followed by The Day Before You Came, Fernando and The Name Of The Game, which we were told had originally been titled A Bit Of Myself. Eagle was a lesser-known hit that was performed here, as was Honey Honey. One Of Us was more familiar, though; When All Is Said And Done then led us to I Have A Dream; Lay All Your Love On Me and Kisses Of Fire. Mamma Mia! was understandably one of the highlights of the performance, and this song, along with Take A Chance On Me ended the first half.
The second half began with the ever-popular Super Trouper, and the famous ABBA smash-hits kept on coming: The Winner Takes It All; Angel Eyes; Voulez-Vouz; Gimme, Gimme, Gimme and Does Your Mother Know were amongst those covered in this section of the show. Knowing Me, Knowing You; SOS and Chiquitita were also very well-received, and then we headed towards the finishing stretch. After the group performed Thank You For The Music, the main portion of the evening ended with Waterloo, before the encore of – what else? – Dancing Queen officially brought proceedings to a close.
The band were more than capable of stepping into the shoes of the iconic Swedish pop group for this show, holding the attention of everybody from start to finish. One of the band members had their family in attendance, and it was great to see how visibly proud they were of their relative making their contribution to this show. As is to be expected from an ABBA, there was an excellent mix of songs, which ensured that the mood was always upbeat, but with the style and pace of particular tunes varying throughout the night. If you wanted to dance, this show certainly had you covered, but if you just wanted to sing along, you could do so, and if you wanted to think about the messages behind the lyrics in more softly-spoken tracks, that was possible as well. Such is the benefit of an ABBA show, where there are so many easily-recognisable songs that prevent there being any dull moments during the course of the evening.
Lighting was effectively used to not only differentiate particular tracks, but to also set the mood where applicable for the more heartfelt tunes, as well as offering an ever-changing blend of colours for the faster-paced songs. There were also a plethora of costume changes – some subtle, others more noteworthy – which further ensured that each hit being belted out would indeed stand out from the others. The sound was a bit of an issue early on with the microphone levels dropping at times, but this was remedied after a little while. The audience were certainly into the show from the moment that the event began, and if anything, they were too enthused; some screamed as if they had won the lottery whenever one of their favourite tunes started (which had me wondering: why do people yell at the top of their lungs when the first beat of a song comes on, especially at a show where you know it’s coming?), and others seemed more interested in taking selfies while obstructing the views of others than concentrating on what was happening before them. Most of the crowd were tolerable, though, and whilst the show managed to include virtually every memorable ABBA hit, you got the feeling that the audience were still craving for more when the group took their final bow. The first half was very good, but the second half was definitely stronger, which is the way it should always be for shows like this to ensure that we build to a major climax
ABBA Forever succeeds at giving ABBA fans what they want: all of the hits from the Swedish super-group are here, along with plenty of opportunities to join in the fun by singing and dancing along. For a feel-good and authentic ABBA experience, it is strongly advised to check out ABBA Forever.
Target Audience: Adults Aged 30+
Content: No Content Likely To Offend
Overall Rating: 9/10 – Outstanding