ABBA stars Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus say that their musical Mamma Mia! would not have been a big hit had they not turned down the original script, which was set in a zoo with animals singing their songs.
They have revealed that some producers approached them in the early Nineties with the idea of staging a show, in which their songs would be performed by lions, tigers, giraffes and elephants.
The songwriters said that they declined to give the producers the go-ahead.
“The musical was originally meant to be a one-hour TV special based on Abba songs,” the Daily Express quoted Bjorn as telling during an interview with the Elaine Paige On Sunday Show on Radio Two.
“There were a few scriptwriters involved and one script included animals and stuff. Nothing came of it.
“We just said ‘No’,” the 62-year-old added.
Set on a Greek isle, the ‘Mamma Mia!’ musical revolves around a daughter trying to find her father on her wedding day. It has grossed more than one billion pounds since it opened 10 years ago.
Last year’s Mamma Mia! movie is the highest-grossing film musical of all time.