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Viva Forever!


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#271 Rozzi Rainbow

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:00 PM

View PostFireFingers, on 14 December 2012 - 03:26 PM, said:

WWRY is an interesting one. The cast were given notice, and a sequal to WWRY was supposedly going into the Dominion. The sequal does exist on draught form, Ben Elton again. Anyway, sales picked up and they withdrew the notice to leave and it had been going ever since.

This is really interesting, I never knew any of this! I don't know how they'd expect a sequel to do any better tho, if it was to replace a supposedly 'not selling very well' original. I would be really interested to see the sequel tho, wonder if anything will ever come from it now? Queen certainly have a large enough back catalogue to work with. I think in future if ever takings at WWRY did begin to drop, they could reduce the number of shows there and perform the sequel in between instead!!!
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#272 Titan

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 04:18 PM

from memory there was also talk of it downsizing and sequal into dominian. this was after a few years of wwry being open so it was already established hit

#273 Viserys

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 05:17 PM

I do remember the talk of the WWRY sequel.  But to add my two cents to the general debate here:

ABBA and Queen were both huge for a decade (if not longer) and many of their songs are classics that are still played everywhere all the time. Both bands were "before my time" but I knew many of the songs before seeing Mamma mia and WWRY and I enjoyed hearing them fresh. WWRY has a ludicrous plot but songs like "Only the good die young" were fantastic theatrical moments. Mamma mia also has genuine heart in Donna and her two friends and the memories they share. The young characters are pretty much forgettable. I have no interest in seeing a show about four obnoxious skinny showbiz-wannabes like the leads in Viva Forever seem to be. I just need to switch the TV on or open a tabloid to see plenty of those.

The Spice Girls were big for 2-3 years or so and had - what? - two really successful albums? It just isn't the same kind of appeal. And stuff like "Wannabe" was huge in its day but it certainly never became a classic like Dancing Queen or We will rock you. My only Interest in Viva Forever had been Jennifer Saunders' participation since I'm a huge fan of her writing - looks like I needn't bother. I certainly wouldn't go for the bland pop music the Spice Girls churned out.

Bodyguard may live longer because Whitney Houston's career lasted longer too and songs like "I will always love you" are classics. AND they create great theatrical moments. It's been a week since I saw the show, but I still got "One moment in time" in my ears.

#274 Jon

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 07:14 PM

I thought LOTR originally were to ho into The Dominion then WWRY withdrew the notice. I think after Love Never Dies not lasting long, I imagine the WWRY sequel wont see the light of day.

#275 Titan

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 08:11 PM

yeah it did, so did legally blonde

#276 djp

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 02:34 AM

View PostRozzi Rainbow, on 14 December 2012 - 02:14 PM, said:

I was really looking forward to this as I grew up in the 90s and like the Spice Girls' music, so I'm disappointed to see it seems to be really bad! I'd thought about going last Saturday but there were no seats left - having since read all the negative comments on here, I'm now glad I didn't waste my money, I was even prepared to pay full price for a ticket. Now I don't think I'd go even if I could get a discounted ticket, not when it costs so much for me to get down to London, and there are other shows I could see which I know I'd enjoy. That "highlights" video does nothing for me at all, in fact Mama sounds awful! I can't warm to the character of Viva at all but her mum seems a good character. I thought they'd show some of the other girls in the band, and the judges/mentors, as I thought they were significant parts. I don't think I've seen anything in the slightest bit positive about this, which is worrying. I rarely care what the official reviews say about new shows, as it's comments from places like this forum which give me an idea of what to expect. If the comments on here were a bit more balanced, I'd be more inclined to go myself and make my own mind up, but until I hear anything positive about it I just don't fancy it.

................................

Went today and things may be  a bit more complex. Quite a few of the newspaper critics were never going to like it anyway - as they are pretentious and could never admit to liking the Spice Girls even if they did. Other people though identified massive problems with it -  and they are right. It got a better response though than I was led to expect,  and  the  critics,  or logic, suggests. No standing ovation, but good applause, clapping along when the script finally allowed it  and a few positive shouts. There are some funny bits that work well,  and some unfunny funny bits. The audience was very predominantly young and female. Comments after overheard were along the lines of I quite liked it, it was fun anyway, and its still no better...  If its attracting its niche audience, there's not much else left  aimed at them,.  and they were applauding rather than booing, and went  out looking reasonably happy rather than angry,   it may survive until they have to decide not to go again. You may just like enough of it.

Its a truly bizarre beast though. Its got some good points.  Lucy Montgomery as Suzi, friend to Viva's mother nailed  her   big laughs, her thongwork  is striking,   and she sings  one of the  best vocals in the show . Tamara Wall is very funny,  and  gets  a too brief chance to show what  else she can do really well - after being  jailed as Brooke. There's lots of potential there. Its a bit odd that they let her show off her superb abs and let  her tattoos enliven a chunk of  act one,   but don't really exploit the fact that they have a really good singer there,  and one of the best dancers around.   Hatty Preston who plays Bubble (or here Bubble's modernised variant  Minty) is also  successfully funny.  Without those three working so well ,  I think big chunks of  the show would cure insomnia.  Sally Ann Triplett  works hard to keep the boat afloat, and sounds really good when  she gets the chance, but even she can't harmonise with herself in songs built for 2 or 3 singers with distinctive voices to sing. There were quite a  few moments when I thought how much better things would be if the group,  Eternal, had been lost in a traffic jam enroute to the studio,   and the story had  been about the new group thrown together from Viva' s mum, mum's best friend, the Essex girl  judge standing in,  and any good soprano they could find who could sing Emma's tracks.

The ensemble is good and enthusiastic  Much of the rest of the cast get too little to do in the  book - and do it wih all degrees of success. The book looks like an abfab sketch with guests and Spice Girl lyrics thrown in,  and its got too many plotlines as it tries to get to another song..Bizarrely,  the programme credits a Professor for advising on emotional relationships - more bizarre when there's not enough depth to many characters.  People appear and then vanish -  including the rest of the group. The girls  sound OK when they get a chance,  and play the characters as interestingly as possible given the book. Their problem is that they sound more similar than the Spice Girls,  and the group sound can't go where Melanie C. Mel B, Geri and Emma's vocals took it. If they wanted people to sound not quite  like the Spice Girls, and wanted not to give them enough distinction or  story to draw comparisons,  they succeeded. Viva isn't given enough to make us actually care about her - Sophie in Mamma Mia and Scaramouche do far better.  I thought she was most like Geri vocally, but, for better or worse, she doesn't have Geri's vivacity or vocal tone,  and she may have been tiring . Its not clear why she's picked as the solo singer in the TV show ,  or that she's the  one best vocally positioned  to try and cover the group's songs solo.  I thought Sally Dexter playing judge Simone was stuck with playing an Edina for what seemed interminable stretches,  and Edina just isn't as convincing, or interesting  as a singer or a judge, as a Sharon or Cheryl. There's something seriously odd  though when you use a song in a way that makes it clear how brilliant at singing her own hits Melanie C is.

Musically,  its consistently odd. There seems to be the alternative musical -  that uses the songs  more like WWRY or Mamma Mia  - more like the original and more as big group production numbers- trying to get out. Spice Up Your Life hints at another show that might have been -  but why raise hope by playing/dancing to it, and  then not have anyone singing  it?  And, as if they realised that they had forgotten the Spice Girls, what a lot of people really really wanted,  turns up at the end.  Before that, it depends if you think its wise to turn one of the best Spice Girl's songs into a (good , effective) comedy sketch,  when you only have a few to sing, or to sing Viva primarily as a male solo,  when its really beautiful conclusion needs two matching female voices,   or to choose  songs that most people will have skipped on the  CD to sing out in full,  while leaving real favourites out. It does  look like what you would get it if you dumped a big heap of lyrics in some writer's lap who didn't actually know many of the songs  at all.  

I thought it was worth seeing. Once anyway.  I would buy a cheaper ticket though as the only advantage of a forward stalls seat is a close look at Tamara's tattoos. 9 to 5 is more fun,  and has a better book and vocals . WWRY has the magnificent Rachel John, bigger numbers and was cheaper last time I sat in the same row. ...........Ghost was far better.

#277 wickedgrin

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 01:27 PM

As Viva Forever and The Bodyguard have opened almost at the same time it will be interesting to see which has the longer run. Place you bets now!

#278 stevepearman

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 04:56 PM

Bodyguard :)

#279 lesterf

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 05:15 PM

Bodyguard

#280 Parsley

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Posted 15 December 2012 - 06:27 PM

I forgot to add,

I found the jokes about cancer really quite tasteless.

Jennifer Saunders obviously had breast cancer, but this does not give her licence to try and mock people having chemotherapy.

Humour about shaved heads is really not funny.

She has overcome her cancer, but many people do not.

It was the lowest form of humour, within the pathetic context they tried to use it.

Any credibility she (ever) had will be lost with this venture.

Given the last few Ab Fab episodes she has limped out...it isn't looking that sparkling for her really.....




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