The tour opens at Bromley Churchill Theatre on 30 April. All subsequent venues have been announced, except for one unconfirmed that will host the show from 1 October. Norwich, Bristol, Stoke, Newcastle, Southampton, Glasgow, Coventry, Milton Keynes, High Wycombe, Woking and Manchester are the definite destinations.
The show is based on the true story of Yorkshire housewife Viv Nicholson, who won a fortune on the Pools in 1961. She achieved instant celebrity status, but her life was changed forever after she embarked on a major spending spree. The story follows Nicholson's dramatic shift in fortunes from rags to riches and back to rags again.
Spend’s text and lyrics are by Steve Brown (who also wrote the music), and Justin Greene, based on the book that Nicholson herself penned with Stephen Smith. The show is directed by Jeremy Sams and designed by Lez Brotherston, with lighting and sound from Mark Henderson and Rick Clarke respectively.
After opening at West Yorkshire Playhouse in 1999, the production hit London's Piccadilly Theatre in October of the same year, having previewed at the Theatre Royal Plymouth. It went on to win both the Critics Circle and Evening Standard Awards in 2000, as well as receiving eight Olivier nominations.
Barbara Dickson, who plays the mature Viv, received her first major break in 1974 courtesy of Willy Russell. He offered her the singing and commentary role in his musical John, Paul, George, Ringo... and Bert which played at Liverpool's Everyman and also in the West End. Dickson later established herself as a major solo performer, with hits such as January February, and the chart-topping single I Know Him So Well, recorded with Elaine Paige.
Rachel Leskovac, the younger Viv, was on stage from an early age and later graduated from Liverpool's Institute of Performing Arts. Recent television work includes Where The Heart Is and Peak Practice. Spend Spend Spend marked her West End debut.
- by Gareth Thompson