As the songwriters behind one of the world’s best selling pop bands, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson of ABBA wanted more than just being famous for selling 380 million records. With hopes of being the new stars of musical theatre, they began to work with lyricist Tim Rice who’s collaboration with Andrew Lloyd Webber had ended.
While working on the musical Chess, the pop composers were approached by musical producer Judy Craymer about creating a musical based on the ABBA catalogue of songs. The songwriters were not enthusiastic, but they were not completely opposed to the idea.
Although critically acclaimed, the musical Chess had only a few years run on London’s West End and didn’t make it a year on Broadway. Craymers concept Mama Mia went on to be a huge success!