Viva Forever! opens at the Piccadilly Theatre in London


Last night was the opening night of the much anticipated new show in London, Viva Forever! The Spice Girls musical.

The opening of Viva Forever! at the Piccadilly theatre in the heart of London’s West End was a star-studded affair. All five Spice Girls were in attendance as well as our very own Sandra, arguably the standard bearer for Girl Power.

The Spice Girls

Unfortunately Victoria Beckham aka Posh Spice and her hubby David were delayed due to traffic congestion around the theatre as the crowds thronged to get a peek of the lovely Sandra.

Viva Forever! is the latest long-awaited, much-hyped new musical show in London from Judy Cramer with a back catalogue of Spice Girls songs. The Spice Girls arrived to support the show last night and were in ebullient mood – such was the excitement on the red carpet.

Viva Forever! tickets sales have already brought in £4 million in advance bookings. The draw to the show is likely down to the sparkling combination of personalities at the heart of the production. Aside from the Spice Girls themselves, the show is written by comedian and Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders and produced by Judy Cramer whose previous hit show  Mamma Mia! is still currently playing at the Novello theatre in The Aldwych, London.

Viva Forever! revolves around four friends who enter a Starmaker talent contest, a reality show akin to The X-factor. The lead character Viva, Hannah John-Kamen, lives with her drunken adopted mum on a houseboat and is plucked from the rest of the group to be moulded by her mentor, Simone, played by Sally Dexter, a bitch-like diva judge. Remind you of anyone?

The cast of Viva Forever!

The show isn’t just about Girl Power as it explores the relationships between the four friends and the strains of stardom. The script written by Jennifer Saunders is a cross between Ab Fab and Mamma Mia! The show also deals with Viva’s relationship with her mother and the antics of her mother as she struggles to come to terms with her daughter’s success.

Naturally there are some OTT moments, especially when Viva goes to Spain to Simone’s house and the whole stage becomes a lively Spanish Festival to the notes of “Spice Up Your Life”.

The star-studded after-show party was held in a huge marquee in Embankment Gardens. Sandra says: “I have never witnessed such opulence, chandeliers, fabulous food displays, themed in red, black and gold. At tables bedecked by the hugest arrangements of red roses were sat the VIP guests: Ruby Wax, Elizabeth Emmanuelle, Joan Collins, Dawn French, Elaine Paige, and Cilla Black, amongst others, were in party mode – plus of course the Spice Girls with their families. I feel very privileged to have been at such an event and to have brushed shoulders with The Beckhams!”

Geri Halliwell and Mel B - on their way to the after party

It remains to be seen whether Viva Forever! tickets sales are healthy in 2013. If so, the musical may run for as long as the other successful pop-based shows in the West End: We Will Rock You and Mamma Mia!