6 May 2013

Theatre Review: Viva Forever


I'm a little bit late to the party with this one as it was announced last week that Viva Forever will be closing next month but I thought I'd share my thoughts with you anyway in case anybody is tempted to go and see if before the curtain comes down one final time.

A few weeks ago my friend Lucy and I headed off to the Piccadilly Theatre in London to see Viva Forever having purchased two of the "best seats" for the price of one on ShowPairs. As we had to collect our tickets at reception we were a few minutes late and had to spend the first 15 minutes watching on a screen in the bar as part of the "latecomers policy" employed by the Piccadilly Theatre which is something I have never experienced in any other theatre I've been to and appears to be far more disruptive to the people around you than just letting people in as they arrive - if people are coming and going to the toilet and bar in the first few minutes which invariably they are, it seems senseless to not let people into their seats. 

The show itself has been met with less than favourable reviews but as an avid fan of the Spice Girls (which 90s girl isn't?) I couldn't resist seeing the show and went with an open mind. 

Viva Forever tells the story of Viva, a singer on a reality TV talent show called 'Starmaker', through the songs of the Spice Girls. The star of the TV talent show seems to be dimming so the concept felt a little tired although the staging was clever. More a parody of the X Factor than anything else, the TV element had me cringing in places, particularly with the host who I'll call Dermot O'Deary... 

Even as a huge Spice Girls fan I found it hard to place some of the songs and the combination of Mama (sang by Viva), Goodbye (sang by Viva's mum) and Headlines (sang by Simone) was a particular low as the three screeched over each other and left me squirming in my seat waiting for the noise to stop. The songs did improve towards the end and I really enjoyed Spice Up Your Life, Viva Forever sang by Angel with an acoustic guitar and 2 Become 1 for comedy value alone - achingly predictable yet still amusing. 

I left the theatre feeling confused: I wasn't sure how I felt about the show and I'm still not. I didn't hate it but I didn't love it. I did enjoy it for the most part and it does have the feel-good factor that it promises to deliver but I can understand why they've pulled the plug - it could have been so much more. I wouldn't say it was bad, more disappointing. 

Spice Girls fans will likely enjoy it for the songs alone so I would say if you're in London during the evening over the next month and at a loose end, buy some tickets and go along for a sing-song. 

You can read Lucy's review here.

Have you been to see Viva Forever? Will you be catching it before it ends?

Vicky x
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6 comments

  1. I am a musical geek but this one just never appealed to me. I've heard far too many bad reviews as well. Sad really when you think who was behind it all xx

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    1. I agree, I love musicals but this one didn't hit the spot for me. The comedy was very typical of Jennifer Saunders but it just didn't settle well for me xx

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  2. Oooh, I'm so sad it hasn't captured the spice girls spirit - as CORNY as that sounds! It could have been so amazing, I mean the Spice Girls are legends (in my eyes). I wish they could have just done it as the story of the spice girls rather than having to create a new storyline. xx

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    1. I agree! I actually thought for ages that it was the story of the Spice Girls which is partially why I was so excited because I was obsessed with them as a child and even went to see their reunion tour (and I am proud of that!) so it was a bit of a let down. xx

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  3. As a musical theatre student it was great to read this! I didn't expect this to hang around the west end for too long!
    Great review
    HannahMarieBeauty.blogspot.co.uk
    xx

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    1. Neither did I sadly and even more so after seeing it! Thanks for the comment xx

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