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Viva Forever!


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#521 freckles

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:44 AM

Saw this last night & I can't compare it to before but thought it was messy. The book is weak, the dialogue trite & a lot of the 'jokes' unfunny. (it was mentioned early on in this thread but I really found the 'shall I shave my head & pretend to have cancer' comments in very poor taste) The best humour, in fact one of the few good points about the show, is a few minor characters who are very amusing. I thought the leads were all pretty weak, especially Simone (though I'm not sure if that was an alternate last night?). She was vocally all over the place.
I quite like the Spice Girls & expected it to be more fun. I have come to the conclusion that they only have a handful of decent songs & the rest fall flat. Viva Forever in Spanish is beautiful though, that arrangement was inspired. I also found all the women in it a bit too blokey; I understand about girl power, controlling your own destiny & rejecting over sexualised marketing of female pop stars etc but I think the whole tone is wrong. The Spice Girls were outspoken & cheeky, but not chavvy ladettes as Eternity are portrayed.
It is staged well, I liked the sets & the screens, but a few scene transitions were clumsy, with cast just scurrying off cross-stage while the next scene started. There were quite a few line fluffs too, maybe down to re-writes, but not very professional.
Overall it had a bit of a Bill Kenwright touring production vibe about it...
And the end was so sudden - nothing happened! The four girls re-united (with hardly any discussion), sang Wannabe & then the whole cast started dancing & grinning like maniacs; it wasn't until some of them took a bow that the audience realised it was over! Then there's an 'everybody on your feet' song medly that was quite jolly - with more costume changes than the rest of the show.
OK for a bit of a lightweight night out but not great. The supporting characters & the ensemble dance numbers are the best part. And this is the improved version?
Was in the stalls and it wasn't full (tho a Monday).

#522 dannyboyjohnson

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 09:48 AM

I do admit, as much as i personally enjoyed it, the supporting cast are better, as are the ensemble dance numbers.

The best parts of the show in my opinion are:

Spice Up Your Life
Right Back At Ya
Goodbye/Mama
Final Medley

#523 dannyboyjohnson

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:16 AM

I love that they putting footage of the show on youtube... First Spice Up Your Life, then Goodbye/Mama and now...



#524 mrtheatre123

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 11:29 AM

this rate we wont have to go see the show at all :)

#525 dannyboyjohnson

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 01:54 PM

View Postmrtheatre123, on 19 March 2013 - 11:29 AM, said:

this rate we wont have to go see the show at all :)

Was just thinking that...

#526 holler

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 02:21 PM

I do think the changes have helped, admittedly. Long boring scenes are now shorter boring scenes. Wannabe makes a lot more sense as an audition scene instead of the entire cast just stood on the stage on the spot singing it. For me, after two bars of Wannabe, the show starts on a huge high, but then with the first boat scene, it takes a massive dip. And doesn't ever really regain momentum. The entire first act is boat-studio-boat-studio-studio-boat. Where is the journey that we should be going on?

Simone wasn't an alternate last night. I didn't like her voice either, when I saw it in December (? Was it that long ago!?) and it hasn't improved on me now. It's quite harsh and overly theatrical, which as my friend pointed out last night, brings about a strange clash when you're trying to sing the Spice Girls like it's Les Mis.

The best character by far is Minty. Every line she delivers with perfect comic timing, she got a lot of laughs, particularly when she speaks in hashtags ('hashtag things that aren't really my job'), which I find a much more relevant reference than 'Is her grandmother a prostitute?' - nod to Katie Waissel that most of the audience appears to have completely forgotten about, given that it was, what two or three seasons ago? Ditto Rachel Adedeji/Ababubu. I just googled the actress and she appeared in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone apparently?! Who knew. (Minty, not Katie Waissel)

I still find Viva very unsympathetic, although a lot of her whining and snapping at her mother has been cut. Her being adopted seems almost entirely irrelevant still... one of the biggest problems with the book, I find, is that far too much has been crammed in. This was all too evident in the documentary that went out over Christmas where, and I quote, Judy and co were listing off the 'theme' of the show as: mothers and daughters, friendship, our obsession with fame, celebrity culture, the 'spirit' of the Spice Girls... well, which is it? Make your mind up. Mamma Mia is a simple story about a girl trying to find her father. As opposed to Viva Forever, which seems to flip between themes with each scene change.

I also really don't like the way that several of the songs are just made into a joke. Too Much - one of their best! - like Let Love Lead The Way, is sung between Viva's mum and her mum's friend like they're taking the piss out of it. Don't get me started on 2 Become 1 - by this point I feel like the audience is laughing in disbelief, probably stunned into hysteria by the appearance of those BIZARRE massive pinata heads in the Spain scene, one of which bears a striking resemblance to a Spanish Jimmy Saville... Who Do You Think You Are is wasted. Songs are interrupted with dialogue or cut too short, or just sung badly by soloists. Sorry to the cast, but a lot of it was painful. In one scene, Viva is told by Angel 'Your voice is tired' and someone laughed hysterically from the back of the circle! As that's certainly how it sounded the whole show. For the less well-known songs, you could feel the audience sitting there thinking... is this a Spice Girls song? Unlike in WWRY and Mamma Mia when after a bar of music everyone knows which song it is.

Ughhh, what can be said that hasn't already been said in reviews. The circle was half empty last night and I cannot see it lasting much longer. Just get Ghost back in there already!

#527 freckles

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:39 PM

Good post holler.  Your summary & views are spot on,

View Postholler, on 19 March 2013 - 02:21 PM, said:

Simone wasn't an alternate last night. I didn't like her voice either, when I saw it in December (? Was it that long ago!?) and it hasn't improved on me now. It's quite harsh and overly theatrical, which as my friend pointed out last night, brings about a strange clash when you're trying to sing the Spice Girls like it's Les Mis.

Oh, really, well she was an awful singer then! To the point where she started some of the songs in an over dramatic speak-sing way & they were barely recognisable until somebody else joined in with  a bit of melody!

View Postholler, on 19 March 2013 - 02:21 PM, said:

The best character by far is Minty. Every line she delivers with perfect comic timing

Agreed. Even when she was in the backgound of a scene she was hilarious.I quite liked Suzie (?) too, but in places she was a bit too Patsy from Ab Fab..

I found most of the characters unsympathetic, not just Viva. The only one I think I liked was Angel.

And the jokeyness of some of the songs didn't work for me either, it spoiled them. The best for me were Goodbye/Mama and Viva Forever, when they were stripped back.

#528 dannyboyjohnson

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 03:50 PM

The best thing to do with the end is make it that Simone is Vivas real mum. It makes sense for the act 1 ending, with the three of them singing

#529 strallenfan

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 04:56 PM

I said the same as above in this thread when I saw one of the first previews. I do not understand why they didn't do it and then Viva being adopted would have some relevance to the plot.

#530 MrCompanyManager

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Posted 19 March 2013 - 05:20 PM

So the circle was half FULL last night then?




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