BY CALUM FRASER
Abba’s Björn Ulvaeus has applied to open a musical restaurant in Greenwich after he was chased away from a site near Waterloo by angry residents.
The dinning experience, called Mamma Mia The Party, was set to open on the South Bank earlier this year, but local campaigners complained.
They spoke of their fears of traffic, noise, drunken revellers and pollution brought by the 500-capacity nightly show, when measures to lessen its effects were discussed during a Southwark council planning committee in March.
But now the event has found a new potential home at the O2 in Greenwich and could open in late Spring next year.
Mr Ulvaeus, songwriter and Abba producer, said: “Everything that Mamma Mia! has done – from its conception more than 20 years ago, to the new film being made right now – has been charged with positive energy.
That’s why I am hugely excited to bring Mamma Mia! The Party to London and hope to do so in Spring 2019 as planned.
“However I have reached the conclusion that the party should not open on the South Bank near Waterloo, despite being granted planning permission in November 2017.
I’ve taken seriously the concerns expressed by some local residents living around Stamford Street and so have decided not to go ahead with our plans on this site.”
Mr Ulvaeus has made a licencing application to Greenwich council to host his late night entertainment evenings in building six of the O2 arena.
The 73-year-old said: “We have long admired The O2 and the huge entertainment success it has become under the ownership and management of AEG.
“We believe bringing Mamma Mia, The Party to The O2 will add to this already vibrant cultural destination and provide the perfect location for our exciting new show.”
The Party first opened in Stockholm in 2016 after Mr Ulvaeus was inspired by the success of the Mamma Mia! theatre show.
Work has begun on transforming the O2 space into the Nikos’ Taverna, a fictional taverna from the play.
While the story of Nikos and his family plays out in front of them, an audience of around 500 people will be able to eat Mediterranean food, drink, and dance along to Abba songs.
To register for priority access to tickets for London, visit www.mammamiatheparty.com/gb/en/.
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