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Mamma Mia! spin-off show in Waterloo pulled after Abba send SOS to residents who protested

Scene from the sold-out production of Mamma Mia! The Party in Stockholm. Photo: Sam Emery Scene from the sold-out production of Mamma Mia! The Party in Stockholm. Photo: Sam Emery
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Plans for a controversial Mamma Mia! spin-off show that drew complaints from local residents in Waterloo have been scrapped.

Mamma Mia! The Party, the brainchild of Abba songwriter Bjorn Ulvaeus and producer Ingrid Sutej, was first staged in Stockholm in 2016. Plans for a London version included building a 500-seat temporary theatre in Waterloo to house the immersive stage show and dining experience, on a currently undeveloped site.

Mamma Mia! The Party musical spin-off to take a chance on Waterloo

The land is owned by social enterprise Coin Street Community Builders, which is dedicated to the regeneration of the South Bank area.

Last year, Waterloo residents staged a protest against plans to build the venue, claiming the land should be used for social housing and expressing concerns over noise late at night.

Ulvaeus has now confirmed that despite being granted planning permission in November, a temporary theatre will not be built on the Waterloo site.

He said: “I have reached the conclusion that the party should not open on the South Bank near Waterloo… 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.”

Ulvaeus added that he still intended to open Mamma Mia! The Party in London next year, but at a new location, to be announced shortly.

“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,” he said.

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