One of the UK’s leading tribute shows is coming to St Albans next week.

We caught up with Jane Ellis, who performs as Agnetha, ahead of the ABBA Forever show at the St Albans Arena on Friday 18 January.

How did you become part of ABBA Forever?

I was already in the performing industry and, having been brought up on ABBA, both my sister and I loved the music so it was such an obvious choice for me. I had also been in a girl band previously, when someone made a throwaway comment that I had a look of Agnetha with this 70s style hat I was wearing, but at the time I suppose I didn’t think anything of it. It wasn’t until later, when I was in between jobs, that I decided to do the ABBA tribute.

Have you ever seen ABBA live?

Unfortunately not, although we have many people come along to our shows that have. We have studied DVDs and YouTube videos of their concerts and we try to emulate those, obviously on a smaller scale. However we do have many similar effects as they did and we try to portray the same feel with as much authenticity as possible.

What is your favourite track from the band?

This is very difficult as I have so many, but one of them would have to be Lay All Your Love On Me. We perform a song called I’ve Been Waiting For You, which is a lesser known album track. This was performed in one of their earlier concerts. It is such a beautiful song, so I would have to say that one also.

Tell us a little more about the band members and how you got together.

Some of the band members have been with us for years and others I have known since childhood and have previously worked with them during our early careers in the performing industry. The rest is by an audition process. However, we all share the same passion and focus for the music and making the show the best that it can be.

What preparation do you need to get ready for the performance?

There are many costume changes throughout the show, so we have to set out all our costumes beforehand in the correct order, generally in the wings as we don’t get much time. Next we perhaps try and grab a quick bite to eat. Then we do our hair. Usually around this point we are required to do a full sound check with the band. When we come back we apply our make-up, put on our costumes and take our water backstage. Everyone has their own way of preparing for a show, be it mentally or physically. Before curtain I usually do a few simple warm up vocal exercises plus try to have a little minute to get myself together!

What can the audience expect?

Both leading ladies of ABBA are hard acts to follow and were very dynamic and charismatic on stage, so we do try to make our show very visual and high energy. We play all the big ABBA hits and more even putting some surprise album tracks in there for the most ardent ABBA fan.

The music is played live and the musicians try hard to keep the music as authentic as possible and as near to the true ABBA sound. We think ABBA’s music is second to none and we certainly don’t feel we could improve it by changing it in any way, but try our best to replicate the original as much as we can. Whether the audience want to join in the fun or just sit and listen to the show we hope they will be entertained and taken along on an ABBA experience.

What do you enjoy most about the performances?

Being able to sing some of the greatest songs of all time to an audience who share the love of the music. I feel very fortunate in having this opportunity. I love to sing and dance and just perform in general. I find the shows so much fun and it is rewarding to see the audience enjoying it too.

What has been the highlight of your career so far?

This is very difficult to pinpoint just one. Performing at The Opera House Theatre in Manchester has to be one of them, being able to perform the show in front of our home audience. Touring in Sweden many times in some of their most beautiful concert houses especially as it’s the home of ABBA!

The Alban Arena, Civic Centre, St Albans, Friday, January 18, 8pm. Details: 01727 844488