Viva Forever…

Or not for this musical which sets to shut in June with a huge 5 million in losses..!

After seeing it, I’m not surprised! I ignored the terrible reviews being of the opinion that the press rarely give anything linked to the Spice Girls a fair trial. They may never have been musically brilliant but their sales of ‘over 80 million records worldwide, makes them the best-selling female group of all time, one of the best-selling pop groups of all time and also the most successful British band since the Beatles’ (Sourced Wikipedia). So love them or not and at the time I was more on the side of not, considering myself somewhat more cool and alternative than a Spice Girls fan on hindsight you can’t deny their 90’s pop legacy ‘Girl Power‘!

So whilst I wasn’t expecting a musical masterpiece based on Spice Girls music I did think the show would be fun and entertaining yet unfortunately it was utterly disappointing. Originally I had planned to take Madam but was relieved to have taken my sister instead as she would have been frustrated by all the giggling at cringy innuendo that she didn’t understand. The story is based around a girl group trying to achieve fame through an X-Factor style show. When shock horror their mentor says she’ll only take one girl (Viva) through to the final stages. The focus then turns to her success on the show, rise to fame and the fickleness of stardom. As an after thought they throw in a romance between Viva and her music teacher and entirely miss the obvious theme of friendship and girl power.

The enthusiasm of the performers isn’t what lets the show down Hannah John-Kamen (Viva) sings a haunting version of ‘Mama’ far superior to the Spice Girls version. Hatty Preston (Minty), Sally Ann-Triplet (Lauren) and Lucy Montgomery (Suzi) were amusing, performed well and just about kept straight faces as they played roles suspiciously similar to Bubbles, Edwina & Patsy. Jennifer Saunders obviously didn’t find it easy to link the hits into the script and I think could win awards for tenuous links as Viva abandoning her friends becomes ‘Say You’ll Be There’, a discussion about Viva’s Mother (Lauren) not shaving her lady garden ‘Too Much’ and finally Lauren and her new partner re-discovering their sex life via ‘Two Become One’.

The whole thing strikes me as something that was dragged together after a few too many bottles if wine that sounded funny at the time. Just as you think it can’t get much worse they arrive in Spain in order to play a few of the Spice Girls carnival style tracks and just in case you don’t know it’s Spain there’s a cardboard cut out bull in the scenery. When they get to the romantic moment thrown in for good measure he declares he’s written a song about her…

The row behind us were sniggering, we were sniggering. Bet you can’t guess the song he’s written about her but I’m hoping and sure it can’t be. They’ve only just met yet the lyrics imply a childhood friendship grown to something more and then lost but never forgotten. It’s by far my favourite Spice Girls song, it’s the headline song, they’re going to murder it, it doesn’t fit but what the hell let chuck it in….

Viva Forever!

I was kindly given these tickets by Superbreak and what a relief as I would’ve felt these tickets a complete waste of money which is something I never thought I’d say about a musical. I am a huge fan of many musicals and usually find them worth every penny and only wish I could go more often. Luckily Superbreak offer a variety of London Theatre Breaks, including Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables and Wicked all of which I’d never bore of seeing!