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ABBA BACK TO DOCKYARD (article first published : 2006-01-10)

In response to demand The Dockyard is once again running its ABBA tribute for one month only from January 12 to February 14.

About a year and a half ago, the Dockyard produced a musical tribute to ABBA with great success. "The only mistake we made with the show," says Stuart, "was that we only ran it for a very short season". After playing to packed houses every night, the booking office received calls from patrons for bookings for weeks after it closed.

According to Stuart the secret of the show's success, was in the uncanny reproduction of ABBA's sound. Musical Director Bruce Boome's accurate arrangements of the ABBA harmonies had some audience members believing that they were listening to CDs and that the cast was miming. "I suppose that was the ultimate compliment, when the audience can't tell you apart from the original band", he adds.

The authenticity doesn't stop with just the music - the set, costumes and choreography have been adapted to the era. As in the previous production, the show takes the format of a present-day Björn Ulvaeus, reminiscing over the heydays of the band, its considerable financial success and the songs that made ABBA a household name all over the world, played as flashbacks.

Songs included in the tribute include favourites such as Dancing Queen, Fernando, SOS, Waterloo, Money, Money, Money, Mama Mia", and many more. It features a nine-piece cast who perform all the music live. "There are no back tracks, sequencers, or backing tapes whatsoever in this or any of the Dockyard's shows. What you hear is produced by the performers of stage," says Stuart, the show's producer and the Theatre's owner.

ABBA's music lives on in movies like Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Muriel's Wedding and even the London musical Mama Mia. Their music, as record producer Pete Waterman of British Pop Idol’s fame admits, is extremely difficult to perform. Granted, it sounds simple enough, but when you try to copy it, you realise just how complex the harmonies and arrangements actually are.

The Dockyard has gone back to serving a starter and main course for R70 with desserts an optional extra at a further R20. Starters include a Neptune Salad (prawns, calamari, line fish on greens); Crumbed Button Mushrooms with Creamy dip; 'Tato Skins with Cheese and Bacon. Main course options see the ever-popular grilled Sirloin Steak being retained; the Dockyard's famous Calamari as the seafood option; Chicken Breasts, crumbed, served on a bead of Garlic Creamed Potatoes, topped with a Herb Sauce. A vegetarian option of homemade Veg Lasagne with Mushrooms and Onions is also available.

Desserts include the 'rich and famous' Bar-One cake, Peach Melba and Amarula Dom Pedro.

Tickets R150 for the show, including the two-course meal. Previews will take place from January 12 to 15 with tickets at R100 including a one-course meal with starters and desserts as optional extras. A cash bar is also on offer. Bookings through Karen on 031 332 1086 or Computicket.




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