Judy Craymer production to play at Piccadilly
LONDON — “Mamma Mia” creator Judy Craymer has confirmed that “Viva Forever,” a tuner based on the back catalog of 1990s Britpop sensation The Spice Girls, will open in the West End at the Piccadilly Theater on Dec. 11.Written by Jennifer Saunders (“Absolutely Fabulous”), the tuner is neither a bio-drama nor a tribute show. Instead it follows a girl and her best friends being swept up by TV celebrity culture via a talent show into overnight fame and back again. Like “Mamma Mia,” which plays to largely female auds, “Viva Forever” also focuses on a mother-daughter relationship. Helmed by Paul Garrington, who has restaged Phyllida Lloyd’s production of “Mamma Mia” around the world, the tuner is designed by Peter McKintosh (“Crazy For You,” “The 39 Steps”). Choreography is by Lynne Page (“La Cage aux Folles”); Martin Koch, Howard Harrison and Bobby Aitken return from “Mamma Mia” with musical arrangements, lighting and sound. Produced by Craymer in association with the Spice Girls, Simon Fuller and Universal Music, the tuner will open cold in the West End after just 12 previews. “Ghost,” the previous incumbent at the Piccadilly, will shutter on Oct. 6.