By Liv Wilson
The Ultimate ABBA Experience
Directed & Choreographed by Maureen Bowra
Musically Directed by Lucas D Lynch
Arranged by Lucas D Lynch & Samantha Patterson
Lighting provided by Tom Dodds of Show Hire Australia
Sound by Ben Murray of PQI Technologies
Stage Managed by Aimee Monement
Lighting operated by Ross Ritchie
Orchestra, Cadenza Chamber Players
Twelfth Night Theatre
The season runs on Friday to Sunday for the remainder of May, tickets start at $29.90 and can be purchased here. https://www.lynchandpaterson.com/upcoming-events/abbaexperience
The Ultimate ABBA Experience brings ABBA fans a show not to be missed. With fantastic vocalists, a sublime orchestra and ABBA’s biggest hits in one action-packed show, you’ll want an excuse to get out and party with Lynch & Patterson!
Six talented performers took on some of ABBA’s biggest hits (and even bolder dance moves) during this two- act performance at Twelfth Night Theatre! The evening was MC’d by David Lawerence who took the audience on a journey through his ‘personal ABBA party’ which was a fun way to break up the songs and add in ABBA trivia along the way.
The production was directed and choreographed by Maureen Bowra who brought an ultra camp concept to life by featuring bold costumes and familiar dance moves from the band’s most influential music videos. I felt that the leads could have had less physical responsibility on stage, they were constantly dancing and it took away from their vocals at times. I believe the ‘less is more’ approach would have helped the performers in this instance.
Ellen Tuffley, Jess Purdy, Samantha Paterson, Michael Nunn, Nate Stevenson & Simon Chamberlain are all fabulous performers and extremely engaging on-stage. Their buttery vocal blending and perfect harmonies were a great representation of group chorus work. Individually they were all strong and clearly having a ball!
Samantha Patterson left no dry eyes in the house with her powerful rendition of The Winner Takes It All. Those of you who thought of Merryl Streep’s performance in the film, Mamma Mia was “about as good as it gets” are really going to need to get to this show to hear Patterson’s powerhouse pipes. She is breathtaking in this song and brought a playful energy to the stage when she was featured throughout the evening. It’s very evident that Patterson is a seasoned professional who is able to carry musical numbers even when there are slight ‘opening night technical difficulties’.
Ellen Tufflry & Jess Purdy rounded out the female cast nicely; they had strong stage presence and clear vocals. I do feel like they suffered from the fast paced choreography at times and this seemed to bring some uncertainty to the stage. Tufflry’s charisma sent the audience into fits of laughter many times, she was very commanding on stage.
Michael Nunn was particularly good in ‘Does Your Mother Know’, as was Simon Chamberlain in ‘Gimmie, Gimmie, Gimme’- these numbers were two highlights of the show for me. Chamberlain’s vocals were unreal throughout the night; he had a real knack for adding his own flare to each song, very much a true triple threat!
Nate Stevenson did a great job, my only criticism is no fault of his own, but is that he was given the lower male harmony in most songs which didn’t give him the opportunity to showcase his incredible vocal abilities. Having seen him in other productions I know his voice can do more and I was hoping to hear it during this show!
It would be poor form not to mention the four dancers who spent the entire two hours dancing…non-stop! Luke Woodrow (assistant choreographer), Jennifer B Ashley, Daniel Terribile & Chloe Kiloh were loved by the audience and couldn’t have added more spunk to their performances if they tried. I would recommend keeping your eye on Chloe Kiloh, she was stunning and really stole the stage in an understated way which was lovely to see. Daniel Terribile’s lyrical performance in Fernando was especially moving, it gave the song a new meaning and his connection with Kiloh during their duet was beautiful.
Without a doubt one of the standout elements of the evening came from the on-stage orchestra which was expertly led by Lucas D Lynch. Lynch was on the ball the entire night and was able to conduct his way around a few technical difficulties where his orchestra didn’t miss a beat. I think the level of professionalism is to be commended.
Lynch & Patterson promised a party & they certainly delivered! It’s a great night at the theatre and one that everybody who loves ABBA should get along to.