After their glittering and not-so-surprising finale appearance at the London Olympics closing ceremony, the Spice Girls are embarking on a journey into the world of musical theatre with their first show in London, Viva Forever!.
For those that are too young to remember, or missed out on girl power, the Spice Girls are a British pop girl group formed in 1994. The group comprised five girls, who each adopted nicknames: Melanie Chisholm was Sporty Spice, Emma Bunton as Baby Spice, Melanie Brown as Scary Spice, Victoria Beckham (née Adams) was Posh Spice, and Geri Halliwell as Ginger Spice.
Their first single “Wannabe”, released in 1996, was an immediate hit and reached number-one in more than 30 countries and helped establish the group as a global phenomenon.
Amongst other hits were ‘Say You’ll Be There’, ‘2 Become 1’ and ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ as the Spice Girls became multi-million selling recording artists.
Now the award-winning writer, comedienne and self-confessed Spice Girls fan, Jennifer Saunders who both wrote and starred in TV’s Absolutely Fabulous and French & Saunders has written a new musical entitled ‘Viva Forever!’ featuring the music and songs of the Spice Girls.
To give this project even greater credibility is the fact that it is being produced by Judy Craymer, the producer of the worldwide smash-hit musical Mamma Mia!
We are told that the story isn’t biographical, but instead, features elements of the pop world and reality TV talent show as one girl follows her dreams. The musical Viva Forever! charts her journey into the world of overnight celebrity and its impact on her mother, and the friends she thought she’d have forever. From London to Spain and back again, as the world judges you, it’s all about who you really are and who you want to be, whatever the cost.
If the exclamation mark that features in the title of Mamma Mia! is an omen then we can expect great things from Viva Forever! with the exclamation mark too!
We are promised an exhilarating and irresistibly funny tale of love, loyalty and romance, inspired by the songs of the Spice Girls, and what promises to be a fabulous feel-good night out (one suspects, with the ladies in mind).
The rehearsals have started in preparation for the previews at the Piccadilly theatre, London from 27th November with the opening night on the 11th December 2012. It has all the ingredients to be a success and launching just in time to capture the Christmas feel-good factor and the wallets of the adoring public and the plain curious.
Leading the cast is the highly accomplished Sally Ann Triplett and West End newcomer Hannah John-Kamen, who will play Lauren and Viva, the mother and daughter roles at the heart of the musical.
Judy Craymer said: “We’re very excited to be working with such a fabulous group of actors – not only does the cast include some of the most accomplished performers in British musical theatre, but we’ve discovered some wonderful newcomers as well. The story is not about the Spice Girls but rather a contemporary comedy musical with a funny and clever script by Jennifer, which is charged with all the energy and attitude of the girls themselves.”
Will you be hoping to find a Viva Forever! ticket in your Christmas stocking?