Visit London Blog » viva forever Enjoy the very best of London Thu, 24 Apr 2014 09:00:00 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Interview with Sally Dexter from Viva Forever! Wed, 15 May 2013 10:00:14 +0000 Sally DexterSally Dexter plays Simone in Viva Forever!, the Spice Girls musical currently running at the Piccadilly Theatre. The acclaimed actress won an Olivier award for Dalliance at the National Theatre and was Olivier-nominated for her performances in Sam Mendes’ Oliver! and for Closer at the National. She has performed lead roles in several major West End musicals including Billy Elliot and Sister Act.

What’s your favourite song from Viva Forever!?
At the moment my favourite song is “Who Do You Think You Are?” Jennifer’s [Saunders] put it in great context and written a fantastic scene around it; one minute it’s funny, the next minute it’s like a fight between all of us. It’s very exciting to enact and the audience respond really strongly to it.

Why do you think the Spice Girls songs are so popular?
I think the Spice Girls songs are the embodiment of fun and optimism. The Spice Girls aren’t afraid to aim high and go for their goals, while encouraging others to do the same. They shine a bright light in what sometimes seems a bit of a dull world!

What does performing in London’s West End mean to you?
It’s incredibly handy – a quick pedal up the hill on my bicycle and I’m there! That aside, London’s West End is a vibrant multicultural hub – and it’s amazing to be part of a phenomenal theatrical history that goes way back.

Do you prefer TV or stage work?
TV and stage work present different challenges, both of which I enjoy.

If you weren’t playing Simone in Viva Forever!, what other role would you like to play on stage at the moment?
Oh my – how long have you got?! There are a million things I’d like to do, but I feel strangely shy about talking about specific plays or shows – I must be more superstitious than I thought! I love working on classical texts. I love Mr Shakespeare and Mr Chaucer. I’ve never done a Chekhov, Tennessee Williams or Lorca play – or a full Greek Tragedy. I also passionately want to do a gig or two.

What part of a musical do you most enjoy – the dancing, singing or acting?
Singing! And acting is naturally at the heart of it anyway.

Do you have any lucky charms or rituals before you go on stage?
Mostly practical stuff – I fill up an old contact lens case with vital throat moistening sweets and pop them down my frontage because I don’t have any pockets. And I always put the left shoe on first – I’ve no idea why!

Why should London theatre-goers choose to see Viva Forever!?
Viva Forever is a fun party that everyone’s invited to. It’s the sort of party you don’t want to leave because you’re having too much fun – and the music is great. Come along and boogie!

Viva Forever! is currently playing at the Piccadilly Theatre. You can book tickets to see Viva Forever! here. You can follow Viva Forever! on twitter: @vivaforever

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Six New West End Musicals to Look Forward to in 2012 Thu, 29 Dec 2011 14:00:43 +0000

It’s been an interesting year for West End musicals. 2011 has seen huge success stories like Matilda and Crazy For You transfer to the West End, as well as The Wizard of Oz, Shrek and Ghost The Musical.

How can 2012 top that? Well, if the rumours are true, we could be in for some pretty exciting new musicals for the Olympic year. There are whispers of Bridget Jones’ Diary The Musical (with the ever-brilliant Sheridan Smith as the lead); murmurs of Viva Forever The Musical (Spice Girls songs and Jennifer Saunders writing – what more could you want?!); hints about a musical version of The Bodyguard, complete with Whitney Houston’s songs; and suggestions of a Wind In The Willows musical too…

While I love rumours as much as the next person, my tips for 2012 are all based on facts. These shows are definitely coming, and you should be getting excited about them!

1. Master Class, Vaudeville Theatre, from 21 Jan
Tyne Daly has already wowed Broadway audiences with her performance as Maria Callas in Master Class. Next month, she’s heading to London to do the same. I can’t wait.

2. Singin’ In the Rain, Palace Theatre, from 4 Feb
One of my favourite films of all time, it’ll be great to see Singin’ In The Rain on the London stage in February. Particularly with star dancer Adam Cooper in the lead role, and Scarlett Strallen as Kathy.

3. Sweeney Todd, Adelphi Theatre, from 10 Mar
I’m thrilled that Michael Ball is heading back to the West End. He’s such a fantastic singer, and an all-round musical superstar. Sweeney Todd has already had rave reviews from Chichester; I’m so excited about seeing this show when it comes to London in the spring

4. Top Hat, Aldwych Theatre, from 19 Apr
I was a big fan of Tom Chambers when he was on Strictly Come Dancing, so I can’t wait to see him in Top Hat in the West End. My parents have already seen this show on tour, and promise that we’re in for a real treat when it comes to the Aldwych next year. And there’s another one of those Strallen sisters to look out for! (Summer, this time.)

5. Wah! Wah! Girls, Peacock Theatre, from 24 May
Just while you were thinking that all I was going to recommend for 2012 were revivals and transfers, I give you a sparkling new musical from Sadler’s Wells, Theatre Royal Stratford East and Kneehigh. It’s East London meets Bollywood, and part of the exciting World Stages London collaboration for 2012.

6. Porgy And Bess, London Coliseum, from 11 Jul
Finally for summertime (when else?!), the Cape Town Opera comes to the London Coliseum to mark 75 years since George Gershwin’s death. This vibrant, physical production of Porgy And Bess shifts the action to apartheid-era Soweto, with all the classical-jazz-opera musical combinations as strong as ever. It should be a real spectacle.

What musicals are you looking forward to seeing in 2012? Let us know in the comments below…

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Thursday Theatre News: Shakespeare, Spice Girls and Sandy McDade Thu, 28 Apr 2011 16:20:48 +0000 Summer is always a great time to catch some Shakespeare in London, and summer 2011 is no exception. From a superb-sounding season at the Globe, to Pericles at the Open Air Theatre, and of course, THAT all-star Much Ado About Nothing, there’s plenty on offer.

Adding to the Bard mix is news that Simon Callow (best known as the guy who dies in Four Weddings and A Funeral) is bringing Being Shakespeare to the Trafalgar Studios in June. So if you feel like you’ve seen too many Hamlets and had enough Much Ado’s for one year, take a look at this one-man show. Being Shakespeare brings the Bard’s most memorable characters to life as it explores the man behind the world’s most famous plays. It runs from 15 June to 23 July.

From Shakespeare to Spice Girls! Yes, there’s going to be a Spice Girls musical. Viva Forever will be directed by War Horse co-director Marianne Elliot, and produced by Mamma Mia! producer Judy Craymer.

Judy said, “I am delighted that Marianne has agreed to direct Viva Forever. With her theatrical aptitude for exploring strong women and their relationships and her meticulousness to detail she is absolutely the right person to direct this new musical which is all about female friendship, celebrity and fame. I’m so happy to have her on board, together with Jennifer Saunders, who has written the musical.” Jennifer Saunders too! There’s enough Girl Power in that team to make the show a success, I reckon!

Finally, this week’s cast news. The National Theatre welcomes two returning actresses for A Woman Killed With Kindness in June. Sandy McDade last appeared in The Seagull, directed by Katie Mitchell. McDade is probably best-known as Lark Rise To Candleford’s Miss Ellison. Mitchell also directs the National’s revival of the 1603 domestic thriller A Woman Killed With Kindness. Liz White (from the BBC adaptation of The Crimson Petal And The White and Life On Mars) stars alongside McDade. White was last at the National in the double bill of Spring Storm and Beyond The Horizon last year.

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