Spice Girls musical Viva Forever 'premieres in December'
Spice Girls musical Viva Forever will premiere at the West End's Piccadilly Theatre, currently home to Ghost the Musical, in December, according to the Daily Mail.
The show, which is produced by Mamma Mia!'s Judy Craymer, will begin previews in November and go head-to-head with screen-to-stage musical The Bodyguard, which opens at the Adelphi in December.
According to the Mail's Baz Bamigboye, the premiere of Viva Forever will be attended by the original Spice Girls - Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton, Victoria Beckham, Melanie Chisholm and Melanie Brown (aka Ginger, Baby, Posh, Sporty and Scary).
The show, which has a book by comedian Jennifer Saunders, will feature a plethora of the group's hits including "Wannabe", "Who Do You Think You Are", "The Lady is a Vamp" and "Mamma".
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.
Workshops for the show have already taken place. According to the Mail: "Emma and Mel C cried when they watched footage of the workshops; both felt it reflected the group's ethos — friendship, identity and being true to yourself — and also saw it as an astute commentary on today's obsession with celebrity."
Auditions start later this month and run through to July. An idea to cast the show via a TV show is believed to have been abandoned.
From 1994 to 2001, the five-strong Spice Girls 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 Spice Girls 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.