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Abba's Frida Lyngstad in a Radio 4 drama

Wednesday 16 February 2011, 13:30

Steve Bowbrick Steve Bowbrick Head of Interactive, Radio 3

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Frida Lyngstad from Abba with Chris Green, playwright, in a Radio 4 studio

Olivier Award-winning writer Christopher Green has written a play about being a fan. He plays himself in the drama, called Like an Angel Passing through My Room. And, remarkably, so does Frida Lyngstad from Abba. The picture above shows the two of them in a Radio 4 studio recording the play and to mark what I am quite sure is a network first for Radio 4, I've pulled from the BBC archive a handful of lovely pictures of Frida and Abba from previous encounters with the BBC.

Like an Angel Passing through My Room is on Radio 4 at 1415 this afternoon. Listen to the play on the Radio 4 web site for seven days after transmission.

Abba on the Simon Bates show in 1977

Abba on the Simon Bates show in 1977

Agnetha Fältskog and Frida Lyngstad from Abba at the BBC in the 1970s.

Agnetha and Frida at the BBC in the 1970s

Abba - Benny Andersson, Agnetha Faltskag, Anni Frid Lyngstad, and Bjorn Ulvaeus - on Top of the Pops in 1976

On Top of the Pops in 1976

Abba wearing Radio 1 T-shirts in the 1970s.

Wearing Radio 1 T-shirts in the 1970s

Frida Lyngstad in an Abba television special filmed in Switzerland in 1979.

Frida in an Abba television special filmed in Switzerland in 1979

Abba with Lesley Judd on Blue Peter in 1978.

With Lesley Judd on Blue Peter in 1978

Steve Bowbrick is editor of the Radio 4 blog

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Comments

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    Comment number 1.

    Dear Radio 4, I have listened for years and never been moved to comment. However, I have just finished listening to The Afternoon Play 'Like an Angel Passing Through My Room'. I loved it! It was a beguiling mix of truth and fiction, dreams and reality, character and identity. So sensitive. So wise. Despite the melancholic thread throughout, so uplifting. Thank you Christopher. A wonderfully novel concept for a play.

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    Comment number 2.

    Thank you for such a strange but ultimately beautiful programme. Well done to everyone involved in this!

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    Comment number 3.

    I am not in the habit of making comments but I was moved to say "thank you" for this afternoon's play, "Like An Angel Passing Through My Room."

    I am of an age to remember Abba winning the Eurovision Song Contest and I even bought some of their records. This afternoon's play was not about memories, it was about emotions, understanding and coming to terms with life. Thank you so much.

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    Comment number 4.

    'Like an Angel Passing Through My Room' was refreshing: original in conception and execution.It was compelling. There seemed however to be a little confusion over gender but I tuned in a little late and probably missed something.
    It reminded me of contact I had with Nina Van Pallandt and the complexity of interacting with a real person, with the same rights to privacy as the fan. Actually, I'd like to do a similar 'faction' format play.Any BBC producers there?

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    Comment number 5.

    A truely brilliant concept, one I throughly enjoyed beyond measure.....why do we not have more like this

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    Comment number 6.

    I tuned in half expecting a sycophantic love-fest, but Frida was involved so I was intrigued. The result is phenomenal, among the best radio I have ever heard. Original, humorous and poignant. The interview with Frida is insightful but cleverly under-played. Congratulations to the production team especially Christopher Green.

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    Comment number 7.

    This was a beautifully touching piece of art. Uplifting and funny too.
    It was so nice to hear Frida's personal contributions, and Christopher's anecdotes and memories resonated so much with my own. Thankyou Radio 4 for broadcasting this.

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    Comment number 8.

    What I especially loved about An Angel Passing Through my Room was Christopher's voice and the whole way he presented his story. It was really moving. It's especially fitting, as it was Frida's voice that appealed to him in the first place.

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    Comment number 9.

    I am an avid r 4 fan but I thought this was the pits.embarrassingly boring + vacuous with a voice to match. I look forward so much to the afternoon play and all I could think all the way through was Oh my God how dreadful is this. am I really tuned into radio 4?

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    Comment number 10.

    This is just wonderful. Frida has been my role model for almost my entire life, and I know many others have been inspired by her, and it's a joy to read and hear about other fans' personal stories.

    Thank you for an intimate glimpse into your passion, Christopher. You love her as I do. I simply cannot imagine my life without Frida's golden voice lighting my way through the darkness, and I am now going to surround myself once more with The Visitors, Frida Ensam, Anni-Frid Lyngstad -- 1967-72, the "Frida" album, Djupa andetag, and the Something's Going On albums now as I close my eyes, let the healed parts of me disperse into space, and remember all that Frida has taught us throughout our own painful and sometimes jubilant odyseyys. Love to all devoted Frida fans, ABBA fans who love her too, and most especially to Christopher for bringing us this beautiful play which served as a postscript to my own long love affair with the singer I adore above all others, and most especially to a voice that should win a humanitarian award for healing and comforting so many hearts aross the globe.

  • Comment number 11.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

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    Comment number 12.

    Magical and beguiling but what touched me most was the resonance in the few obsessions within my life and their connections with abba and Frida. Thanks Christopher for sharing such a personal insight in such a public arena Richard S

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    Comment number 13.

    I enjoyed listening to this piece so much on iplayer that I have listened again today. I was soothed by Christopher's voice and his wisdom and new found self-awareness struck a chord with me. I also want to hear more of the early Anna-Frid solo work. I constantly drew parrellels with my own situation. I have never stopped talking about an old teacher to whomever would listen (I am told) and, having gone through a bad time last year, now have the good fortune to be able to see him regularly and leave the old obsession behind. Thank you Christopher and Anna-Frid.

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    Comment number 14.

    I finally listened to this piece on iPlayer last night. Magnificent. So much of what Christopher said struck a chord with me - although my personal love is of the (arguably) more traditional Agnetha variety.

    But the themes remain the same - the Melancholy Belt, the knowledge of inane trivia, the weaving of Abba into childhood escapades. Am I one of those Abba obsessives Christopher talked about? Maybe.

    But his love for both Frida and Ben was palpable throughout, and, trite as it may sound, I couldn't help but feel Christopher has been fortunate to have two such loves, however painful the parting from each of them undoubtedly was.

    I was not familiar with Christopher before hearing this piece, but will be sure to explore more of his work now. He is clearly a man of much wisdom, and great sensitivity.

    And, while I understand the ending of a chapter metaphor, I do hope that Frida's magnificent music will, at some point, make it back off the shelf and onto his iPod, for a time when he can enjoy it for the beauty it holds.

    Thank you to Christopher and to Radio 4 for a fine and resonant piece of radio.

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    Comment number 15.

    Thank you to Christopher Green for a truly wonderful and inspiring afternoon play. Poignant, uplifting, inspiring, funny, sad - I could just go on and on, he must be a really brilliant writer. Really touching insights into life and friendship. Lets have much much more of Christopher Green please (meanwhile I'm off to self-medicate with music)!

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    Comment number 16.

    Thank you BBC for broadcasting this truly magical play. Not since Spoonface Steinberg have I been so moved and had my attention captivated in such a way. Christopher Green's beautiful touching story was so personal yet one in which everyone could identify with, sad, touching and ultimately a feeling of having come through an experience all the more wiser. His story embraced us all and his narration was perfectly delivered. Please can we have more of this writer's work he clearly has a rare sensitivity and an extraordinary skill with his craft. Thanks again BBC and to you, Christopher Green.

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    Comment number 17.

    I’ve never before felt compelled to write into the BBC but having gained so much from listening to Christopher Green’s play ‘Like An Angel Passing Through My Room’ it seemed important to convey my heartfelt enthusiasm about it. For me it was joyful, life-affirming, amusing, original, generous, poignant, wry, moving, touching, honest, resonant, insightful and hopeful. I gained more from some of the messages conveyed in this 45 minute play than I have from many expensive hours of therapy or self-help books – seriously. The experience of listening to Christopher’s play was for me life-changing – as well as entertaining me and making me smile I was gently startled into learning some really important lessons about myself, yet I didn’t feel the slightest hint of heavy-handed preaching from him. Many thanks Christopher Green and Radio 4 – more like this please!

 

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