ABBAWORLD

ABBAWORLD thanks London for the music and chooses Earls Court for the world premiere. Fully approved and supported by ABBA, ABBAWORLD will make its stunning, sequin spangled world debut in London at Earls Court on 27 January 2010. The hugely interactive experience will take visitors on a mind-blowing journey through ABBAWORLDS’ 25 rooms, bursting with exclusive music, footage, images and never-before-displayed memorabilia from the personal collections of the world’s most cherished pop icons; Agnetha, Benny, Björn and Frida.

An engaging introductory movie by critically-acclaimed film director Jonas Åkerlund will start the experience and a free audio guide will move visitors through the magical space at their own pace.

The phenomenon of ABBA will be brought to life with interactive highlights including Perform with ABBA, which will allow fans to get up on stage with their idols, as part of a stunning 3D holographic illusion. Tretow MIX Challenge – a chance to mix things up and re-create the ABBA sound, the ABBA quiz which will test fans’ knowledge. There is also the opportunity to sing-a-long and dance with ABBA, plus a chance for fans to see themselves as part of an ABBA video.

Better still, as part of the ticket, all interaction will be recorded, so people can choose to access it later online at the abbaworld website, allowing their experience to live on and on, just like the music. On entry to ABBAWORLD, guests will have their photograph taken, this will appear during a number of the interactive features; fans will see themselves as part of ABBA album covers, posters and other iconic pictures.

London is the obvious choice for the world premiere of ABBAWORLD. The UK has a special place in the history of ABBA and it was here that global ABBA fever started with the glorious win of Waterloo at the Eurovision Song Contest in Brighton in 1974. ABBA topped the charts in the UK more times than anywhere else in the world and through the smash hit musical Mamma Mia and its ten-year success in London, together with the Mamma Mia movie being the highest grossing movie of all time at the UK box office, a new audience has taken ABBA to their hearts. The Swedish super group created a legendary sound that sold close to 400 million records and made the whole world take to the dance floor. ABBA once again create history through ABBAWORLD; the interactive and audiovisual experience of the world’s most-loved pop icons. This major world event is a close collaboration with all four members of ABBA, making ABBAWORLD the definitive experience of this groundbreaking group. ABBAWORLD will bring fans closer to the music, the magic and the memories than ever before.

Frida said “On behalf of Agnetha, Björn, Benny and I, we are delighted to be part of ABBAWORLD and to have the opportunity to share our amazing experiences with our fans. The interactive elements mean this is the first time we can actually take them on the journey with us. London has a special place in all our hearts and we are looking forward to the world premiere of ABBAWORLD in January”.

Lifeboat and Widsith Present the World Premiere of S-27

The world premiere of a new play by Sarah Grochala. Directed by Stephen Keyworth.

Lifeboat and Widsith present the world premiere of S-27, the winner of Amnesty International’s first Protect The Human Playwriting Competition, for a four week limited season at Finborough Theatre from 9 June – Saturday, 4 July. Press nights Thursday 11 and Friday 12 June.

Inspired by the events at the notorious S-21 prison in Cambodia and by the work of the photographer Nhem En, a young soldier responsible for taking the ID photos of thousands of people before they were tortured and killed by the Khmer Rouge. Playwright Sarah Grochala draws on prison records and interviews with both prisoners and Khmer Rouge cadres to create a startling and affecting drama.

An oppressive regime has rewritten history; there is no more family, no friends, and no lovers, only the state.  May is an idealist, fighting for a better world.  A good soldier, a perfectionist, she has sacrificed everything for this regime. Her reward is a job photographing prisoners before they are executed. As the enemy with both strange and familiar faces pass one by one before her unflinching lens, May’s convictions are dramatically called into question, and the daring possibility of once again dreaming of a life beyond these walls has shocking consequences.

On April 17th 1975 the Khmer Rouge captured Cambodia’s capital and what followed was a four-year reign of genocide as they returned the country to Year Zero. It is estimated that some 2 million Cambodians, a quarter of the population, died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge led by the infamous Pol Pot.

During this murderous period a secret torture and interrogation prison, codenamed S-21, was operating from a former school, Tuol Sleng. Prisoners were tortured until they confessed to whatever crimes their captors charged them with, photographed and then executed. The prisoners’ photographs and confessions formed dossiers that were submitted to Khmer Rouge authorities as ‘proof’ that the ‘traitors’ had been eliminated. Of the 14,200 known people who were imprisoned at S-21, less than 20 are believed to have survived.

An Exhibition of photographs – Facing Death Portraits from Cambodia’s Killing Fields runs 1 May – 26 June at Photofusion Gallery.

S-27 is the second production by Lifeboat Theatre, following Fanny and Faggot by Jack Thorne, which had a sell-out run at the Finborough Theatre in February 2007 and transferred to the Trafalgar Studios. Director Stephen Keyworth was winner of the Amnesty International Freedom of Expression Theatre Award 2002 for his production of his own play Dog Well Done – originally commissioned for and performed at the Finborough Theatre in 2000.

Playwright Sarah Grochala credits include Waiting For Romeo, which was chosen by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs to be part of the celebrations marking the centenary of Ibsen’s death. Last year, she wrote two pieces for Theatre 503 – Viable Alternatives (Theatre 503) and Covent Garden (one of the Urban Sprawl radio plays). She is a graduate of the MPhil in Playwriting Studies and was recently commissioned to write a play to celebrate the course’s 20th anniversary as one of its most distinguished graduates. Sarah originally trained as an actress and has worked extensively in theatre and television, including playing the lead role in Little Women at the Duchess Theatre in the West End.

Director Stephen Keyworth returns to the Finborough Theatre for the third time, following the success of Fanny and Faggot, and Dog Well Done.  Stephen was Artistic Director of 5065 Lift. In 2005, Flight 5065 filled all 32 capsules of the London Eye with theatre, comedy and music including Damon Albarn, Jo Brand, and the National and Royal Court Theatres. He directed two of the fourteen world premieres they commissioned and his own adaptation of Rory Kilalea’s Zimbabwe Boy went on afterwards to be performed at the National Theatre.

Lifeboat Theatre was formed in 2006 to continue the work started by 5065 Lift: to develop challenging new writing and to continue to re-invent and re-imagine the relationship between audience and performers

The Amnesty International Protect The Human Award Judges on S-27

“The dramatic power and moral authority of her winning play, S-27, immediately struck me. It has a spare elegance and emotional charge that left judges and audiences at our series of readings reaching for superlatives.” Robert Delamere, Creative Director Amnesty International UK

“The world of the play is delicately conceived; you achieve moments of real poignancy and truth through the depth and eloquence of your writing. I would like to offer my special commendation for this piece.” Nina Steiger, Writers’ Centre Director, Soho Theatre

PRESS NIGHTS: THURSDAY 11 JUNE and FRIDAY 12 JUNE 2009 AT 7.30PM
PHOTOCALL: TUESDAY, 9 JUNE 2009 AT 1.00PM-1.30PM

Finborough Theatre, The Finborough
118 Finborough Road, London SW10 9ED
Box Office 0844 847 1652   Book online at www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk

Tuesday, 9 June – Saturday, 4 July 2009
Tuesday to Saturday Evenings at 7.30pm.
Sunday Matinees at 3.00pm.
Saturday Matinees at 3.00pm (from 20 June).

Performance Length: Approximately 80 minutes with no interval.