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Mamma Mia! Sweden set to open Abba restaurant

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Björn Ulvaeus. Photo: Jesper Brandt
13:07 CEST+02:00
UPDATED: Swedish Abba legend Björn Ulvaeus has told The Local that plans to create a Mamma Mia style entertainment venue in Stockholm, inspired by the Greek taverna in the smash movie and musical, could go global.

Ulvaeus announced on Wednesday that the new entertainment venue will be part restaurant, part stage show and part role play. Guests will be able to become the stars of their own personal version of Mamma Mia! The Musical.

Abba fans will be greeted by waiting staff and actors as soon as they walk through the doors. They will be able to listen to music, eat Greek food, watch and, which will perhaps excite fans the most, take part in the show.

"My vision is that this Greek taverna will be like a Mamma Mia bubble where people can just have a bloody good time. I can see the audience in front of me, how they're laughing and singing along and having loads of fun. I want to create the same party spirit that's the musical is so known for," Ulvaeus told The Local on Wednesday.

The stage will be set in a small restaurant on the Greek island Skopelos - where the musical took place - owned by a man called Nikos and his wife. And Ulvaeus promises there will be plenty of room for improvisation and audience participation, but only if the guests are up for it.

"If for example, I was to sit in the audience, the actors would see that 'this one, he doesn't want to participate, but that other guy, he wants to get up and dance'. People should feel safe," he said.


Björn Ulvaeus behind an impression of what the stage show will look like. Photo: The Local


Mamma Mia! The Party is set to bring a slice of Greece to Stockholm. Photo: The Local

Mamma Mia! The Party is set to open on January 20th, 2016, at Gröna Lund, one of Stockholm's main tourist attractions. But if the project is successful, it could expand.

"If it works in Sweden, there is no reason why it wouldn't work anywhere else," said Ulvaeus, but added that even non-Swedish Abba fans will be able to enjoy the Stockholm show.

"The lyrics will be in English and the actors will mix English and Swedish depending on the audience. If it's mostly an international audience it will be in English, because Swedes speak such good English anyway," he said.

The mysterious project sparked a global social media buzz when a website was launched last week, hinting at Ulvaeus' "new entertainment experiment", with some Abba fans hoping the project would spell a reunion for one of the world's most loved pop bands.

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"That's probably not going to happen. Although, you never know..." Ulvaeus teasingly told reporters at Wednesday's press conference. But he later let on to The Local that he sometimes does get tired of the never-ending speculation.

"Yes... but what the heck, it's nice that people care," he said with a sigh and a smile.

Mamma Mia! the musical has been seen by 55 million people around the world since its debut in London in April 1999 and has been translated into 16 different language.

The movie version of the show featuring star actors Meryl Streep, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth, Amanda Seyfried and Stellan Skarsgård was also a global smash hit.

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