Company set for the new British musical inspired by the music of the Spice Girls
Rehearsals start next week in preparation for 11 December opening at the Piccadilly Theatre.
Producer Judy Craymer has announced the cast of Viva Forever!, the new musical written by one of Britain’s most brilliant comediennes and BAFTA winning writers Jennifer Saunders, (Absolutely Fabulous, French & Saunders) and featuring the multi-million-selling songs of The Spice Girls.
Rehearsals for Viva Forever! start next week leading to preview performances on Tuesday 27 November with the official opening on Tuesday 11 December, 2012 at the Piccadilly Theatre in London’s West End.
Leading the cast is the highly accomplished Sally Ann Triplett and West End newcomer Hannah John-Kamen, who will play Lauren and Viva, the mother and daughter roles which are right at the heart of the musical.
Viva Forever! is a romantic comedy that tells the story of a family thrown into chaos, as Viva (played by Hannah) and her three best friends (Luce played by Siobhan Athwal, Diamond by Lucy Phelps and Holly by Dominique Provost-Chalkley) get swept up in a TV talent show where stars are born and dreams are shattered.
Viva, Lauren (played by Sally Ann Triplett) and their closest friends see their lives and beliefs turned upside-down by the relentless process of the talent show during which Viva is forced to leave her friends behind and face the reality of fame. Lauren feels vulnerable fearing that their relationship is in jeopardy and her adopted daughter may be lost forever in the fickle world of celebrity, as highlighted by one of the female judges who lives in constant fear of the spotlight fading. As they all confront the bitter reality of fame they re-evaluate their lives and loves and discover who they really are.
Other cast members include Lucy Montgomery, stalwart of British TV comedy scene with roles in Absolutely Fabulous, The Mighty Boosh, Armstrong and Miller, Torchwood and the IT Crowd, who in Viva Forever! plays Lauren’s best friend Suzi. Another friend, Mitch, is played by RSC veteran Simon Slater.
Meanwhile the TV talent show judges are played by Bill Ward, formerly Charlie Stubbs in Coronation Street, and on stage Scar in The Lion King and Sir Lancelot in Spamalot who plays Johnny, the highly experienced Sally Dexter (The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, Billy Elliot) plays Simone, while the final judge will be portrayed by Tamara Wall, Martine in Eastenders and Brooke in Legally Blonde.
West End debuts beckon for Ben Cura as Angel, the musical director of the TV talent show, and Hatty Preston as a production assistant Minty. Simon Adkins plays Leon the stylist, and Anthony Topham is Lance the presenter. The ensemble includes; Tom Kanavan, Zak Nemorin, Curtis Angus, Luke Jackson, Oliver Roll, David Rudin, Darren Carnall, Myles Brown, Charlotte Gorton, Rebecca McKinnis, Lucy Thatcher, Roxanne Palmer, Charlotte Walcott, Sophie Carmen-Jones, Carla Nella, Kirstie Skivington and Helen Ternent.
The creative team of Viva Forever!, Director Paul Garrington, choreographer Lynne Page and musical orchestrator and arranger Martin Koch, were part of the cast selection process with Judy Craymer and Jennifer Saunders.
On the announcement, Judy Craymer said:
'We’re very excited to be working with such a fabulous group of actors - not only does the cast include some of the most accomplished performers in British musical theatre, but we’ve discovered some wonderful newcomers as well. The story is not about the Spice Girls but rather a contemporary comedy musical with a funny and clever script by Jennifer, which is charged with all the energy and attitude of the girls themselves.'
Viva Forever! is produced by Judy Craymer in association with the Spice Girls, Simon Fuller and Universal Music.
Blending the irresistible girl-power of the Spice Girls phenomenal songs with the comic genius of Jennifer Saunders’s writing, Viva Forever! is a touching story of our time, an exhilarating and funny tale of friendship in the face of fame and fortune.