Adelaide Fringe

Fringe Review: ABBAsolutely Fabulous

Dancing Queens Rhonda Burchmore and Trevor Ashley celebrate everything ABBA.


Presented by: Markus Hamence
Reviewed 18 February 2022

It was Friday night, the lights were low, and the only place to go was the highly anticipated ABBAsolutely Fabulous, starring Rhonda Burchmore and Trevor Ashley at The Regal Theatre. Full of bedazzled outfits and a packed setlist, ABBAsolutely Fabulous had the whole house itching to get up and dance by the end.

After several COVID-related delays, local promoter Markus Hamence finally was able to get ABBAsolutely Fabulous off the ground for the Adelaide Fringe. It hasn’t been an easy feat, but Markus’ perseverance to make this happen needs to be applauded.  

Jam-packed into this two-hour celebration is one ABBA hit after another. Each song is strung together by a loose storyline about Rhonda and Ashley’s lives, from childhood dance classes through to recent events. The main focus through the whole production is certainly the music of ABBA, and it didn’t leave the audience disappointed at all.

In 2017, Rhonda brought ABBAsolutely Fabulous to Adelaide to sellout crowds. This original staging starred Rhonda alongside her good friend, Lara Mulcahy. Rhonda and Lara met during the original Australian production of Mamma Mia in their roles as members of The Dynamos. Their friendship shone through this show. Due to COVID and the multiple rescheduling of ABBAsolutely Fabulous, Lara was unable to join this rendition of the show, so Rhonda invited another iconic Australian performer to join her: the one and only, Trevor Ashley. Whilst their friendship radiated through this production, it did bring a very different show compared to the original iteration of the show. The heart of the show was still there, but some of the jokes did miss their mark unfortunately. In this day and age, you do need to be careful on content around sexual assault and under-age consent. These jokes did fall flat, but thankfully didn’t dampen the mood in the room too much. The audience still appreciated the show to its fullest.

An hour before the advertised start time, Adelaide’s very own showgirl, Vonni, DJ’d a great set of classics. Including a sensational costume change mid set, Vonni sparkled, spun, and danced through her set, much to the enjoyment of the audience. It is well worth arriving early to the show to grab a drink from the bar and sit and listen to Vonni’s set.

It was wonderful to see Ashley back on stage here in Adelaide. Known for his brilliant impersonations of Liza Minnelli, Shirley Bassey and Cher, Trevor wowed the audiences in a sensational blonde wig and equally impressive array of ABBA-inspired outfits. A highlight of Trevor’s performance was certainly when he channeled the grandmother of pop music, Cher, with an outstanding rendition of SOS. Trevor’s ability to channel these iconic women is uncanny and captures every nuance of their voice, mannerisms and presentation. Trevor is a constant ball of energy and certainly knows how to work a crowd.

There is no one quite like Rhonda Burchmore. She is one of the arts industry’s leading ladies, and is very appreciative of her supporters. Rhonda knows how to connect to her audience in a way you don’t often see. There is a very good reason why she’s still one of this country’s most in-demand performers. Rhonda invests everything into her performances. She connects to the lyric, the music, and the audience in a seamless way. Her heart-wrenching, emotionally packed rendition of The Winner Takes It All brought the house down. Her powerhouse vocals shone through this number. I have had the pleasure of speaking to Rhonda on several occasions in the lead up to performances in Adelaide and she is one of the most genuine people in the industry.

Supporting Rhonda and Trevor through ABBAsolutely Fabulous was their equally impressive band. Matthew Reid (keyboard) and Sam Evans (drums) worked tightly together and captured the sound and feel of the iconic music of ABBA. In this day and age where it’s easy to tour a show with just tracks, having the element of live music supporting artists is so very important and these musicians certainly loved being up on stage performing.

If you are looking for a great two hours of entertainment at this Fringe, ABBAsolutely Fabulous will certainly not disappoint. The very appreciative audience on opening night certainly lapped up every moment. Rhonda and Trevor, are both sensational performers in their own right, and together are a force to be reckoned with. This show will definitely leave you feeling good and give you a greater appreciation for the music of ABBA.

ABBAsolutely Fabulous will be playing at The Regal Theatre until Sunday 20 February. Show times: Friday February 18 at 8pm, Saturday February 19 at 2.30pm and 8.00pm, and Sunday 20 February at 2.30pm. Pre-show entertainment with Vonni is from one hour before advertised start times in the main auditorium. Tickets through FringeTix or at .

Reviewed by: Ben Stefanoff
Twitter: @theartsislife

Venue: The Regal Theatre, Kensington Road
Season: February 18 – 20 2022
Duration: 2 hours
Tickets: $59.00
Bookings: Through FringeTix or at

Rating out of 5: 4.5

#Adelaide #ADLFringe #livetheatreadelaide #supportthearts #ABBA

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