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John-Kamen & Triplett star in Viva Forever!, Hobson returns to Mamma Mia!

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Hannah John-Kamen, best known from TV’s The Hour and Misfits, has been cast in the starring role of Viva in the upcoming Spice Girls musical Viva Forever!, according to the Daily Mail. She’ll star opposite Whatsonstage.com Award winner Sally Ann Triplett as Viva’s mother, Lauren, when the production receives its world premiere at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre on 11 December 2012 (previews from 27 November).

After taking part in workshop sessions with Triplett while the show was in development, John-Kamen was offered the lead part, whom she described to the Mail’s Baz Bamigboye as “young, vibrant, with stars in her eyes – very innocent”. The show follows her progress as she and her friends form a girl band and enter a TV talent show.

John-Kamen, 22, is a graduate of Central School of Speech and Drama, and has reportedly been a Spice Girls nut since childhood; she used to dress up as Scary Spice with her friends and still treasures a poster from the 1997 Spice Girls movie.

Sally Ann Triplett is currently starring as another feisty mother character, Donna Sheridan in Abba musical Mamma Mia!, also produced by Viva impresario Judy Craymer, who describes Triplett as the musical’s “anchor”. Triplett’s many other West End credits include The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Grease, Jolson, Cats, Chicago, Acorn Antiques, Guys and Dolls and Trevor Nunn’s National Theatre revival of Anything Goes, for which she won the Whatsonstage.com Award for Best Actress in a Musical.

Viva Forever! has a book by Jennifer Saunders and is directed by Paul Carrington, another Mamma Mia! veteran. The show is billed as a comedy musical about "family, friendship and trying to stay true to yourself in a world where everyone craves instant fame and will grab it at any price - a world where fortunes change on the click of an iPhone or the whim of a TV talent show host."

Ahead of Viva Forever!, Sally Ann Triplett continues in Mamma Mia!, accompanying the show from the Prince of Wales theatre into its new home at the Novello, where it reopens on 6 September and Triplett performs her last show on 22 September.

After Triplett’s departure, Helen Hobson will return to play Donna, which she last played in 2007, from 24 September 2012. Hobson’s other credits include Aspects of Love, Les Misérables and Chess in the West End, and Blood Brothers and Cats on tour.


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