CHESS revival

CHESSThe Benny Andersson · Tim Rice · Björn Ulvaeus musical CHESS – Benny and Björn’s first post-ABBA project – is undergoing quite a revival at the moment.

March saw the South African premiere of the musical in Johannesburg, which moves to Capetown in June.

An small theatre group in Massachusetts, USA staged a production in February.

The musical was also stage in Tartu, Estonia in January.

A short run production opens next week in Watford in London.

Next month sees an all-star concert version at the Royal Albert Hall in London, to commemorate the 21st anniversary of the original London production. Rumour has it this concert may be recorded for CD or DVD release.

May also sees a short-run production in Sydney, Australia, in the same theatre as the musical played in 1990.

Another short run production plays in Harrogate in Yorkshire, England in May.

An all new production opens in Los Angeles in May 2009, apparently with the “world premiere” of a brand new book.

Next year marks the 25th anniversary of the original concept album’s release.

Author: Ian Cole

My name is Ian Cole, and I live in Sydney, the capital of the state of New South Wales in Australia.

4 thoughts on “CHESS revival”

  1. Hi IAN

    Here’s an article on the latest Sydney production of Chess!

    Kind Regards
    Samuel Inglles

    The Daily Telegraph – Friday, 9 May 2008 (Page 128 )


    Musical: Chess – Theatre Royal

    Show is a good move. By Troy Lennon

    Long before there was Mamma Mia! the former ABBA team of Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus put together a musical called Chess. They launched it on the world in 1984 as a concept album and since then people have been in love with the music. The album produced the hits ‘One Night In Bangkok’ and ‘I Know Him So Well’.

    “The thing about the show is really the music. It was released as a concept album before it was ever staged and ever since then it has been a work in progress,” says Mark Hoath, director of a new, amateur production of the stage play that came from the album.

    When it finally made it to the stage in 1986 the musical was nowhere near as successful as Mamma Mia! would be. This was partly because the storyline, a love triangle involving an American and a Russian competing at a world chess championships, was deemed too confusing by some critics.

    It was also partly because it was too long and partly because, in America at least, they didn’t like an aspect of the ending. Although it is set during the Cold War, the musical Chess is far from a museum piece.

    “I think there’s still the level of the human relationships between the characters, the Russian and Florence and the American,” Hoath says. “Then you’ve got the backroom negotiations going on with Molotov, the KGB minder.”

    This production, by Balmain’s Light Opera Company Inc, is supported by a 25-piece orchestra and 30 or so singers.

    * King St, City; until May 17, 8pm, from $58.40, 132 849,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: