As bands as diverse as ABBA, Take That, and Madness have all seen jukebox musicals made out of their hits in recent years, it was only a matter of time before a Spice Girls musical was produced. Judy Craymer, the producer behind Mamma Mia!, is now at the helm of this long-awaited show, entitled Viva Forever. It opened at the Piccadilly Theatre on 11 December, 2013 after previews began on 27 November.
With a book by Jennifer Saunders of Absolutely Fabulous fame, Viva Forever tells the story of a teenaged girl, Viva, who enters a television talent competition with three of her friends. When she is selected to advance and leave the others behind, Viva must decide whether fame or friendship comes first. Similarly to Mamma Mia!, it also focuses on the mother-daughter relationship between Viva and her adoptive mother Lauren.
All of the Spice Girls’ greatest hits are featured, including “Wannabe,” “Spice Up Your Life,” “2 Become 1,” “Say You’ll Be There,” and “Who Do You Think You Are.” In addition, some of the original band members’ solo singles are a part of the show, such as Melanie Chisolm’s “I Turn to You” and Geri Haliwell’s “Look At Me.”
Theatre veteran Sally-Ann Triplett stars as Lauren opposite newcomer Hannah John-Kamen making her West End debut as Viva. Siobhan Athwal, Lucy Phelps, and Dominique Provost-Chalkey play Viva’s friends and fellow band members. The eccentric talent show judges are played by Sally Dexter, Bill Ward, and Tamara Wall.
Show Length and Times
Viva Forever performs Monday through Thursday and Saturday evenings at 7:30pm, Fridays at 5:00 and 8:30pm, with a matinee on Saturdays at 3:00pm. The running time is 2 hours 30 minutes including one interval.
Here’s a video from the official launch of Viva Forever, featuring all 5 Spice Girls:
Meet the cast of Viva Forever: