ABBA’s men reunite for Olivier Awards

Reporter: Matthew Amer, first published Fri 28 Mar 2014 12:45
Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus (Photo: Carolyn Contino/BEI/REX)Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus (Photo: Carolyn Contino/BEI/REX)/servlet/file/store5/item224908/version1/fileservice770/224908_770_preview.jpg

Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus, the male half of hit Swedish pop group ABBA, will join the cast of Mamma Mia! on stage at the Olivier Awards with MasterCard to bring the spectacular ceremony to a close.

The show stopping reunion is being staged as part of UK theatre’s most glamorous night, held at the Royal Opera House on 13 April, to help mark the 15th birthday of the fabulously popular musical. It also coincides with the 40th anniversary of the Scandinavian super group’s Eurovision win with Waterloo.

Broadway legend Bernadette Peters and internationally renowned tenor Joseph Calleja will also provide special one-off performances for the ceremony.

All four nominees for the MasterCard Best New Musical – The Book Of Mormon, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Once and The Scottsboro Boys – and the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award – Les Misérables, Matilda The Musical, The Phantom Of The Opera and Wicked – will also perform at the ceremony.

Matilda, Les Mis and Wicked will take to the ITV Stage as part of the fantastic free Covent Garden Piazza event, which this year will be hosted by two-time Olivier nominee Michael Xavier and recording artist and presenter Myleene Klass. The award nominated shows will be joined by Avenue Q in the Piazza where proceedings kick off at 17:00 before big screens stream the ceremony live from the Royal Opera House from 18:30. The Oliviers’ headline sponsors, MasterCard, will also be on hand in Covent Garden to bring lucky cardholders Priceless Surprises including the chance to watch from a VIP hospitality area and the opportunity to win tickets to West End shows.

Among the presenters for this year’s Olivier Awards are previous winners Michael Ball, Nigel Harman, Luke Treadaway and Ruth Wilson, current stars of the London stage Kristin Davis, Rufus Hound and Mark Strong, and theatrical Dames Penelope Keith and Gillian Lynne.

The Olivier Awards with MasterCard, first staged in 1976, offers a chance to celebrate the past year of incredible theatrical achievement with performance and the awarding of UK theatre’s most highly-regarded accolades. Among this year’s nominees are acclaimed performers Hayley Atwell, Anna Chancellor, Judi Dench, Henry Goodman, Rory Kinnear, Tom Hiddleston, Jude Law and Lesley Manville.

Theatre fans can enjoy all the excitement of the night by coming down to the Covent Garden Piazza event to see the show live or by watching a fantastic highlights show that will be screened on ITV at 22:15. In the run up to the event, and on the night, you can get involved by following the Olivier Awards on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and using #oliviers