Björn Again

Wellington Town Hall, Wellington

15/05/2010 - 15/05/2010

Aotea Centre at THE EDGE®, Auckland

23/05/2010 - 23/05/2010

Production Details


Fresh in from supporting Lionel Richie at IPL competition.

Celebrating 21 YEARS

THE WORLD’S No.1 Abba experience BJORN AGAIN is preparing for landing in New Zealand and they’re ready to party. Celebrating 21 years of world domination, these outrageous characters — fresh from supporting LIONEL RICHIE at India‘s IPL competition — will arrive in to New Zealand for a 11-city tour.

Kiwis are being urged to pull their best jumpsuits and platforms out of retirement for these ABBAsolutely fabulous shows.

They’re not a copy of Abba nor a tribute band. Those unlucky enough not to have seen BJORN AGAIN in action before, be prepared for a rollicking good night of ABBA humour and music.

"Björn Again are maybe the most entertaining live rock show in the world today" – Time Out, New York, USA

5000 concerts in 70 countries


Established in Melbourne in 1988 by 2 research scientists, BJORN AGAIN have performed sellout tours to critical acclaim in over 70 countries worldwide.

BJORN AGAIN delivers the highest quality and most entertaining ABBA show. As well as presenting the ABBA look and sound to perfection, with all the authentic costumes and makeup, hi-tech production, staging and lighting effects, there is a cheeky dose of parody, satire and on-stage theatrics that all combines to create a lot of fun and excitement for any audience and an hysterical response. No doubt this is helped by everyone knowing all the songs and words! The Björn Again concept in many ways is unique, and its career and global success fascinating.

Most notably, BJORN AGAIN is the only ABBA show endorsed by all members of ABBA, who have publicly praised and supported the band over many years. Very recently Björn Ulvaues stated on TV that he LOVES the name and thinks BJORN AGAIN are a lot of fun. It is interesting to note that Björn also credits Björn Again with initiating the ABBA revival of the early 90s.

ABBA were one of the biggest pop acts in the 70s, but their appeal has grown far larger since they disbanded in 1983, due to a number of progressive factors: the release of ABBA GOLD in 92, the 2 Australian films Muriels Wedding and Priscilla Queen of The Desert (both featuring ABBA songs), the popularity of Mamma Mia! The Musical, and more recently the massive global success of Mamma Mia!

The Movie, starring Meryl Streep and Pierce Brosnan. But, as acknowledged by the music and media industries, including a leading UK journalist, and ABBA themselves, this has all been helped along by Björn Again providing a highly entertaining live ABBA experience constantly since 1989.
"From the note-perfect vocals to the faux-Swedish accents and sequined duds, Björn Again Fabulously flawless"
– Rolling Stone Magazine, USA

BJORN AGAIN’S career highlights over 20 years are many.
They have performed
Money Money Money’ to Bill Gates, Take A Chance On Me’ to Tom Jones, Ring Ring’ to  Russell Crowe, Rock Me’ to Metallica, SuperTrouper’ to Kurt Cobain, SOS’ to Mr Bean (Rowan Atkinson), and
Dancing Queen’ to royals Andrew and Fergie. They have played Wembley Stadium, The Sydney Opera House, The Royal Albert Hall and at the Glastonbury Music Festival.

BJORN AGAIN is without doubt an incredible success story and especially intriguing due to the fact it is a tribute act that has become a major international touring entity in its own right and captured the imagination of the world. 

BJORN AGAIN are so much fun they’ve played they’ve been enlisted by a who’s who of the music and entertainment world including Cher, Shania Twain, Rod Steward, Bon Jovi, Cliff Richard and even Bill Gates to perform for them.

With the dawn of the Mamma Mia! phenomenon, generations of new fans have emerged and platform-wearing groupies the world over just can’t get enough of BJORN AGAIN. They are the ultimate ABBA experience!

RING RING for tickets today!
MAY 2010
Date                           City                                         Venue                                    Bookings

Tuesday 11                  INVERCARGILL              Civic Theatre              TICKET DIRECT

Wednesday 12            DUNEDIN                           Regent Theatre          TICKET DIRECT

Thursday 13                CHRISTCHURCH            Town Hall                   TICKETEK

Friday 14                     NELSON                              Trafalgar Centre        TICKETEK

Saturday 15                WELLINGTON                  Town Hall                   TICKETEK

Monday 17                  PALMERSTON NORTH  Regent Theatre         TICKET DIRECT

Tuesday 18                 NEW PLYMOUTH TSB   Showplace                  TICKETEK

Thursday 20               NAPIER                                Municipal Theatre    TICKET DIRECT

Friday 21                     TAURANGA                        Baycourt                     TICKET DIRECT

Saturday 22                HAMILTON                         Founders Theatre     TICKETEK

Sunday 23                  AUCKLAND                           Aotea Centre             THE EDGE

Thank you for the music plus...

Review by Kate Ward-Smythe 24th May 2010

There’s a line in ABBA’s song Super Trouper, “Smiling having fun, feeling like a number one”, which in part sums up the simple euphoria the Bjorn Again formula brings to devoted ABBA and Mamma Mia fans. Four clever front line musicians-singers-performers, supported by two able back line rhythm section players, bring to life the (comparatively) bright innocence of ABBA’s all too few live performances.

Bjorn Again throw themselves into top ABBA gear, complete with unforgettable white satin costumes, clear harmonies and those clean, simple, incorruptible repetitive dance moves. The women are pretty much note perfect and look dynamite, while the men, on keys and guitar, are every bit the genius players of Benny and Bjorn. As a tight talented group, Bjorn Again play authentic and genuine homage to one of the world’s best pop bands.

However, far from being a mere tribute act, Bjorn Again add humour, by refusing to take themselves too seriously, plus clever musical twists (I picked up tags of Kylie Minogue and The Police). Each member of the group also has a slightly different name from the original fabulous four, and these fictitious characters allow Bjorn Again to reference more than just ABBA’s music.

Hence ‘Agnetha Falstart’ has an amazing set of pipes with huge vocal and stage presence, but she occasionally wants to retreat out of the limelight. Bouncy ‘Benny Anderwear’ can’t help being friendly and open, and even though he is the creative boss on many songs, he will never be as cool and sexy as Bjorn, though we love him all the more for trying. ‘Frida Longstokin’ plays on Benny’s affections and tightly panted ‘Bjorn Volvo-Us’ knows he is a god among men and lead guitarists.

While I’d love to name and salute the actual artists bringing ABBA to life, Bjorn Again are a franchise, created by Australians John Tyrrell and Rod Leissle in Melbourne in 1988, so while there is much detail about the history of Bjorn Again’s rise to fame in the programme, there is no biographical detail on the real performers.

However, the brand is so strong and has such a sterling reputation, I doubt an audience would ever be faced with a dud cast member. Plus the concert flow and song list is so well thought out and dynamic, the sum of the parts is well insulated against any individual member having an ‘off-night’.

To be fair to the originals, Tyrrell and Leissle’s job has been made extremely easy, as ABBA’s melodies and song structure are simply irresistible. Hence, the audience is jam packed with fans willing to believe this IS “the ultimate ABBA experience”, just as the PR has promised.

The age of the mainly European, mainly female – though there are more men than I anticipated – audience spans from little kids dressed in their best, through middle aged groups dressed to impress (other ABBA fans) to more mature groups, judging from the number of vans from retirement homes queued up by the exit at the end. The people either side of us seem very typical: on one side, a couple in their early 70s, celebrating their 46th wedding anniversary with a nostalgic night out; on the other, a young female fan of the movie Mamma Mia whose parents are willingly dragged along for a trip down memory lane.

The ABBA-friendly crowd is ready to party. Even Bjorn Again themselves seem genuinely surprised at our loud enthusiasm and willingness to obey their every command to stand, sing, and join in on the dance moves! With a fast paced set-list that is an ABBA fan’s dream night out, the night takes off and transports us to where we want to be. 

‘Waterloo’ is the explosive beginning, just as it was for ABBA in 1974; ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’ shows just how slick the rhythm section is and ‘Super Trouper’ showcases a firm wall of harmonies. ‘Honey Honey’ is a sweet prelude before the band gets the chance to really let rip in ‘S.O.S.’

Occasionally, as in ‘When I Kissed The Teacher’, I am reminded just how awesome the cut and texture of the original Frida and Agnetha was. No disrespect to Bjorn Again, as they sound great on their solo and harmony lines, but the real thing had a rare vocal pairing that comes once in a blue moon.

Before ‘What’s The Name Of The Game’, Benny (who sounds a bit like a Swedish version of Ralph from The Muppets) holds court with some comical banter, which leads into a gorgeous sing-along round the keys.

During ‘I Have A Dream’ my young daughter leans forward and whispers to me, “They’re all really great singers, they’re so… calm.” By comparison to some of the ropey wailing of Mamma Mia the musical and the movie, Bjorn Again are definitely in a league of their own, as they pull out all the stops for the first half closer, ‘So Long’.

Opening songs ‘Tiger’ and ‘Voulez Vous’ pretty much turn the sleepy isles of the Aotea into an ABBA-club of men and women dancing with gay abandon. After ‘Lay All You Love On Me’, ‘Ring Ring’, ‘Rock Me’ and‘Fernando’ (during which I’m sure the drummer played a pan flute with one hand while keeping up the beat with the other!) the women get a well deserved rest while B & B take us to a new, unexpected place.

Channelling Jimi Hendrix, Bjorn rips into his guitar with newfound dirt, and then Benny launches into a great cover of Bon Jovi’s ‘Livin On A Prayer’ (regrettably without the key change but still very impressive). Before we have time to process the logic of that, the girls are back and we are straight into ‘Money Money Money’ without a pause. Benny continues to unleash grit, as he gatecrashes ‘Take A Chance On Me’with a fully impressive rap.

Only once in the entire night do I not enjoy the musical arrangements and alterations, and that is during final repeat in the iconic ‘Mamma Mia’, which after a key change, turned into head-banging hard rock. Mmm. Why?
However, ‘Does Your Mother Know’ is underway before I have time to reflect, followed by crowd favourite ‘Dancing Queen’ then ‘The Winner Takes It All’. Finally, what better way to sign off than: ‘Thank You For The Music’.
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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Warm and generous atmosphere

Review by Maryanne Cathro 16th May 2010

It’s 34 years since I warbled ‘Fernando’ into my ABBA pillow case, and yearned for a mini dress with a sequinned cat on it. And it’s over 25 years since ABBA put out a new album. However, this hasn’t stopped two more generations falling in love not only with their music but also their whole “ABBAness”.

Thanks to Muriel’s Wedding, Priscilla Queen of the Desert and Mamma Mia, the ABBA these new generations know is bigger, brighter and bolder than the real thing – a creature born of their music, and our imagination. Björn Again is a tribute to this ABBA in our hearts.

The Björn Again phenomenon is 21 this year and shows no sign of getting too old to party. There are troops of Agnetha Falstarts, Benny Anderwears, Frida Longstokins, and Björn Volvo-us* all around the world. Our line up doesn’t bear more than a passing resemblance to the originals, either physically or vocally. They are however energetic and talented; they who know what their audience want and give it in spades-full.

Appearing in trademark ABBA stage costumes, the team performs ABBA hits, speaks in fake Swedish accents and teases each other light-heartedly. They know we know they are not the real thing and they are not trying to change our minds. One fantastically anachronistic example is when SOS segues cleverly into the ‘Sending out an SOS’ riff from Police’s ‘Message in a Bottle’. After that I was sure that ‘When I kissed the Teacher’ would segue into ‘Don’t Stand so Close To Me’ but that would be predictable!

Given many opportunities to get up and dance, sing, and interact, the audience loves this show. Everyone from 70 year old men to 6 year old girls gets up to dance and sing along. The atmosphere is as warm and generous as a wedding reception; even the ushers are swaying to the beat.

It’s not the same as the real thing, but the real things are not on speaking terms and are in their 60s anyway, so thank goodness for Björn Again. They have almost perfected the balance between performance and entertainment, and they are wise enough to know that we want plenty of both!

*Parodies Björn Again uses of the original ABBA members’ names. 
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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