Piccadilly Theatre, London
Reviewed by Shelly Harper
On Tuesday 14 May 2013, my best friend and I were lucky enough to see Viva Forever! A new musical based on the songs of The Spice Girls and London’s Piccadilly Theatre. I think to say we were excited to see the show would be an understatement, particularly as when we were teenagers we loved listening to The Spice Girls and secretly still do now with their list of catchy hits.
Written by Jennifer Saunders (French & Saunders and Absolutely Fabulous), produced by Judy Cramer (Producer of the worldwide sensation that is Mamma Mia!) and starring Bill Ward (Charlie Stubbs, Coronation Street) and Lucy Montgomery (The Armstrong & Miller Show and Absolutely Fabulous), Viva Forever tells the story of a young girl, Viva, and her trials and tribulations of getting the fame and fortune she desires via the TV talent show ‘Starmaker.’
Viva initially auditions in ‘Starmaker’ along with her friends Luce, Diamond and Holly as girl group but as they reach the finals there is a twist and Viva, who is chasing her dream, is left alone to face the daunting reality of life in the spotlight. Viva Forever! Not only follows Viva into the world of being an overnight celebrity but also shows the impact on her mum and her best friends whilst showing what really goes on behind closed doors on the set of ‘Starmaker.’ Maybe being famous isn’t all it’s cracked up to be…
For us, we found the script to be fast, funny, touching and witty whilst cleverly depicting what it’s like for a normal girl to be living her dream via a reality TV show. Judy Cramer previously called the show “a contemporary story that truly reflects our time.” She totally hits the nail on the head with this statement as young people now believe the only way to become a celebrity is to appear on one of the many TV reality shows that we so love to watch on a Saturday night.
This so called “Jukebox Musical” had us singing along and dancing in our seats throughout whilst the cast belted out some of The Spice Girls world famous tracks such as:
– Too Much
– Say You’ll Be There
– Mama / Goodbye
– Who Do You Think You Are?
– Spice Up Your Life
– Viva Forever
– 2 Become 1
My favourite song had to be Mama / Goodbye as it was so beautifully mixed together to portray exactly how Viva and her mother were feeling at that exact moment in time. It was a truly heart-rending moment.
Both my best friend and I were also particularly impressed with how some of the original Spice Girls songs had been adapted to fit in around particular scenes and scenarios. It put a whole new spin on some of The Spice Girls songs without ruining the classics.
If I had to describe Viva Forever! I would say its X Factor, meets the Spice Girls, meets Absolutely Fabulous. I loved every part of the show from start to finish and certainly would have no hesitation in seeing it again.
Highly recommended – 5*
Tickets cost from £20 to £95.
For more information visit www.vivaforeverthemusical.com
To book your tickets for Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre click here.