Chess: The Musical review – Abba’s ridiculous cold war musical is absurdly complicated fun

Chess: The Musical review – Abba’s ridiculous cold war musical is absurdly complicated fun

The Guardian

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Natalie Bassingthwaite, Paulini and Rob ‘Millsy’ Mills feature in a serendipitously timed revival of the less than loved musical
Regent theatre, Melbourne

Despite being around 800 years old, chess – the game – is, improbably, back. Last year, Netflix released The Queen’s Gambit, a seven-part miniseries about a tortured chess prodigy who struggles with addiction while striving to become one of the world’s best players. Set in the 50s and 60s and starring actress and model Anya Taylor-Joy, the show brought clout and glamour back to a tradition sorely in need of it. Released while many were still in lockdown, the show had a captive audience, became Netflix’s most-watched miniseries ever, and brought interest in the game, particularly among female players, to an all-time high.

A rising tide lifts all boats, so naturally, six months after the release of The Queen’s Gambit, Australia is looking down the barrel of a star-studded national tour of Chess, the 1986 musical featuring music by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus of Abba, and a book by Tim Rice.

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