The long-awaited Spice Girls musical Viva Forever! holds its official launch today (26 June 2012) at the St Pancras Renaissance London Hotel, with all five band members expected to attend.
The show opens at the West End's Piccadilly Theatre, currently home to Ghost the Musical, on 11 December 2012 (previews from 27 November).
Viva Forever!, which is produced by Mamma Mia!'s Judy Craymer, has a book by comedian Jennifer Saunders and will feature a plethora of the Spice Girls hits.
The creative team includes director Paul Garrington, who has directed international productions of Mamma Mia! and Dirty Dancing, choreographer Lynne Page, designer Peter McKintosh and orchestrator Martin Koch. Original director Marianne Elliott pulled out.
From 1994 to 2001, the Spice Girls - Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm, Melanie Brown and Victoria Beckham - were one of the biggest bands in the world, selling 75 million records worldwide and regularly topping the charts with hit singles like "Wannabe", "Say You'll Be There", "2 Become 1", "Who Do You Think You Are", "Too Much", "Stop", "Spice Up Your Life" and "Viva Forever".
Culturally, the group spearheaded the "Girl Power" culture of the Nineties and played a big part in the image of "Cool Britannia" internationally. They also starred, as themselves alongside myriad other celebrities, in the 1997 film Spice World. Their various awards as a group included four Brits, three American Music Awards, three MTV Europe Music Awards, three World Music Awards, and one MTV Video Music Award.
After disbanding, all five women went on to forge independent careers in music, television and other branches of entertainment with mixed success. They reformed briefly in 2007 for a reunion tour and album.Our coverage of today's launch will include photos, interviews and live tweets - you can follow these in the box below or on Twitter.com/Whatsonstage