Published on February 27, 2013 | by Anna-Mariya Jordanova0
Viva Spice Girls, Viva Forever★★★
Spice Girls were never just a girl band. They are without doubt the biggest, best-selling, ‘girl-power’-instigating female group ever.
Coming only a few months after their latest reunion at the Olympics closing ceremony, they have taken over London’s West End.
The completely refurbished Piccadilly Theatre plays host to Viva Forever, a musical that embodies everything Ginger, Scary, Baby, Sporty, and Posh.
The musical is great for a girl’s night out, but far from spectacular and breathtaking. The plot, written by comedienne Jennifer Saunders, follows the life of Viva, a 20-year-old girl who lives on a boat with her mum.
She and her best friends progress through a talent show similar to The X-Factor. The plot twists as Viva is forced to go solo when they don’t make the next stage.
The first thing I noticed was how many seats were unoccupied for the evening performance. The chances are that going straight to Piccadilly Theatre on the day and getting tickets will not be an issue.
On stage, the girls embrace each of their roles so well that at points you forget that they are not the actual Spice Girls. However, the character of Luce/Mel B – played by Siobhan Athwal – is a triumph, and is better than the leading role of Viva, whose portrayal made the show feel unbalanced on occasions.
Viva Forever might not be one of the best shows on the West End, but the fun and care-free energy make up for it.
The storyline is basic and easy to digest, yet manages to follow the Spice Girls legacy of friendship, family, love, individuality and their huge desire for fame.
Of course the band’s hit-packed back catalogue accompanies the whole show. Towards the end of the play, the whole audience was clapping and singing along.
Viva Forever might not be one of the best shows on the West End, already receiving a significant amount of negative reviews. However the fun and care-free energy spread by the cast and the songs amongst the audience make up for it.
The best way to appreciate the musical and enjoy your night is by leaving any pre-conceptions you might have of The X-Factor or the Spice Girls at home, and simply enjoy the performance for what it is.
The show is every Monday-Thursday from 7.30pm, Saturdays at 5pm and 8.30pm. Sundays at 3pm and 7.30pm.
Ticket prices range from £20 to £85.
Viva Forever, Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London, W1