Back in June we learned that a stage musical titled Viva Forever! which is based on the music of the Spice Girls was headed for the West End stage in London, England. Last night, the show premiered to a sold out audience and the Spice Girls themselves were in attendance. Melanies Brown & Chisolm, Emma Bunton and Geri Halliwell walked the red carpet together … while Victoria Beckham showed up late and walked the red carpet with her family. Once inside, 4 of the Spices sat together while Vicki B. decided to sit separately with her family … natch. All 5 Spice Girls did reunite on stage for a curtain call photo op but it really looked like VB didn’t want to be up there with her former compatriots. Click below to see some photos and read more deets about last night’s London premiere of Viva Forever!
The Spice Girls have reunited in London for the world premiere of a West End show based on their hits. All five attended the launch of the “jukebox musical” Viva Forever! which features hits such as Wannabe and Stop. Written by Jennifer Saunders, it tells the story of a girl band who pursue stardom on a reality TV series. After the show, the Spice Girls took to the stage, where Mel C thanked the “wonderful” cast, saying: “I think they’ve done a pretty good job.” Although Sporty Spice (aka Melanie Chisholm), Scary (Melanie Brown), Baby (Emma Bunton), Posh (Victoria Beckham) and Ginger (Geri Halliwell) do not appear as characters in Viva Forever, the plot – in which four friendships are tested by fame – resonates with the Spice story. The band achieved global fame almost overnight with the release of Wannabe in 1996, but within two years, Halliwell had quit, saying through her lawyer: “This is because of differences between us.” The quintet have since reconciled, staging a comeback tour in 2007, but Halliwell admitted that watching the show “does bring up a lot of feelings”. “I felt a little bit tearful,” she told the BBC.
Beckham, who watched the performance with her husband, David, and three sons, thanked Saunders for the script, and paid tribute to her family. “I love you all,” she said, before gesturing to her bandmates. “And well done the girls.” Viva Forever! shares much of its DNA with Mamma Mia! – the hugely successful ABBA musical which has taken more than £1.2bn at the box office since in 1999. Both shows were produced by Judy Cramer, and both feature a strong female cast, in this case led by Hannah John-Kamen in the role of aspiring pop star Viva, and Sally Ann Triplett as her adoptive mother. Where the two shows differ is in the strength of the band’s back catalogue. While Mamma Mia! opens up with a triptych of sing-along classics, the Spice show begins with Let Love Lead The Way and Right Back At Ya, two songs from the band’s little-loved third album, Forever – the one without Ginger Spice. In fact, it takes almost 30 minutes to get to a bona fide hit – the Motown pastiche Stop – with most of the big numbers reserved for the second half. Early reviews in the Guardian and the Independent have both focused on the lack of showstoppers. “The lyrics are required to drive the action on,” noted Alexis Petridis in the Guardian, “and the lyrics of Spice Girls songs are appalling”. Nonetheless, the audience for the premiere – which included Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Joan Collins, Cilla Black, Holly Willoughby, Dawn French and Graham Norton – was enthusiastic, with the best reception reserved for a 10-minute megamix performed during the curtain call. Halliwell noted: “It’s mind-blowing when you see something that we wrote in a little, tiny cold studio over 14 years ago, and then this West End cast is singing our songs. We’re so proud.” Speaking after the show, Saunders said she “was very pleased” to see it come to fruition after three years of work. “It’s a relief but I hope it won’t stop now, because I’ve enjoyed it so much. I’ll probably still call in every couple of weeks and hope they still know who I am.”
Yeah, I suspected that the show wouldn’t be that great … especially considering that the Spice Girls really only have a handful of hit songs. It sounds like the first half of the show is full of filler songs that no one knows. Still, it sounds like Viva Forever! is a musical that Spice Girls MUST SEE … unfortunately, once all the fans see the show once (or maybe twice), I don’t think the show will actually viva forever. It’s quite possible that this will be the last time we see the Spice Girls together in any official capacity. Vicki B. has made it pretty clear that she does not to be a Spice Girl anymore. We got to see the girls do their thing one last time during the Closing Ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympic Games … and this “reunion” looked more like a formality than anything else so … yeah, soak up the sight of all 5 Spices together in these photos cuz Forever is never forever.