Bear plus Abba adds up to fun

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Take the music of Abba, add a big cuddly bear called Benny, and you’ve got The Honey Honey Show, which plays Worthing’s Pavilion Theatre tomorrow (Wednesday, October 31).

On-stage will be four former favourites from the touring Abba tribute band Bjorn Again – Aileen Mclaughlin, TJ Davis, Robin Scott and Jules Dodd.

All four have enjoyed a long, successful career in music, and between them have both live and recorded credits with many artistes including The Stereophonics, Sir Tom Jones, Blur, Johnny Hallyday, McFly, Gary Numan, Lisa Stansfield and Cat Stevens, to name but a few.

But then children came along, and the foursome stepped back from their Bjorn Again duties. Now, however, they are born again again for The Honey Honey show, a night of fun which aims to put the music of Abba firmly in a family context.

As TJ says, the hope is to offer children their very first pop concert – plus all the fun which revolves around Benny Bear whose story is told on screen and who then joins the musicians on stage.

Making Abba bigger

“We are all ex-Bjorn Again that went on to have families, but now the idea is to take the music of Abba to a much bigger, wider audience,” TJ said. “We wanted to include the music of Abba in a children’s show and make it a bit more panto – so we have got a huge bear on stage called Benny. He pops up every now and again, and the children love him. He comes on to the stage and helps the children with the dance moves. Plus, we have got a school choir joining us on stage in Worthing.

“We try to include the children as much as possible. The idea came from the band as a whole. We are all now parents, and we thought why not design something that the children could all fall in love with. Between the four of us we came up with Benny. We wanted him to be a bit cheeky and we wanted to give him a character. But we very much wanted to make it a family show rather than just a children’s show. We want the parents to enjoy it just as much as well.”

Supporting The Spice Girls

TJ was with Bjorn Again for seven or eight years and had a ball, with highlights including supporting The Spice Girls at Wembley Stadium: “I carried on working and singing, but I have got a little girl who is nearly eight now. So I came away from it – though every now and again, I would go back and do a show, until we decided that we should do our own show.

“But I loved being with Bjorn Again. It was just brilliant. I loved every single moment of it. We just had a brilliant time with the whole thing.”

Also coming up in Worthing, at the Assembly Hall, on Saturday, October 27, at 7.45pm is Phil Collins’ tribute No Jacket Required.

Phil Collins sound-a-like Dave Whitehouse was originally known as the frontman for Genesis tribute Invisible Touch. Tickets on 01903 206206.