(Left - right) Melanie Brown, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Melanie Chisholm arriving for the press night of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

Girls Spice up the night as musical opens

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
9.45 AM

The Spice Girls were reunited once again at the opening night of stage musical Viva Forever in London.

(left - right)Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Victoria Beckham with the cast at the press night of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire(left - right)Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Victoria Beckham with the cast at the press night of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

The band - Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton, Victoria Beckham, Mel C and Mel B - were joined at the Piccadilly Theatre in the West End by Jennifer Saunders, who wrote the show set to the songs of the Spice Girls, and Mamma Mia’s Judy Craymer.

Beckham kept the audience waiting for curtain up after arriving late because she was reported to be stuck in traffic.

The other four girls sat together and posed for pictures on their mobile phones, giggling and hugging.

Beckham arrived last and sat with husband David and her three sons.

Principal cast on stage during the first performance of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London. Photo: Ian West/PA WirePrincipal cast on stage during the first performance of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

Friends and family were there to support the girls, including Bunton’s TV presenter friend Keith Lemon, Barbara Windsor and Vanessa Feltz.

The musical stars newcomer Hannah John-Kamen and experienced West End star and former Eurovision entry Sally Ann Triplett.

John-Kamen plays aspiring singer Viva who, along with her three best friends, gets swept up in a TV talent show which turns her life upside down.

The cast also includes comedy actress Lucy Montgomery, who has appeared in The Mighty Boosh and Torchwood, and Bill Ward, whose roles have included Charlie Stubbs in Coronation Street.

Geri Halliwell (left) with a cast member at the press night of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London. Photo: Ian West/PA WireGeri Halliwell (left) with a cast member at the press night of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

The show heavily satirises The X Factor, on which Halliwell and Mel B both appeared as guest judges earlier this year.

The theme of a mother/daughter relationship is also a major part of the plot.

The Spice Girls, all now mothers themselves, previously said they hoped the musical would introduce their music to their young children.

As well as The Spice Girls’ group hits, Halliwell’s solo single Look At Me and Mel C’s I Turn To You also feature.

David and Victoria Beckham with their children (left - right) Romeo, Cruz and Brooklyn arriving for the press night of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London. Photo: Ian West/PA WireDavid and Victoria Beckham with their children (left - right) Romeo, Cruz and Brooklyn arriving for the press night of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

In the interval Halliwell turned to writer Saunders and said: “You must be so proud.”

Mum-of-two Emma Bunton was joined by her eldest son Beau, six, and her long-term partner, former Damage singer turned chef Jade Jones.

Halliwell had six-year-old daughter Bluebell with her and Mel B was accompanied by her movie producer husband Stephen Belafonte, and two eldest daughters Phoenix and Angel.

The Spice Girls led the audience in a standing ovation before joining the cast on stage for the curtain call where the band shared a group hug.

Geri Halliwell arriving for the press night of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London. Photo: Ian West/PA WireGeri Halliwell arriving for the press night of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

David Beckham sang along and danced to The Spice Girls medley during the curtain call.

Mel C said: “There are so many people to thank, thank you all for being here but the people I’d like to thank is the wonderful cast.”

Mel B added: “That was f****** great!”

Emma Bunton said: “I’d like to say thank you to Jennifer Saunders.”

Emma Bunton arriving for the press night of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London. Photo: Ian West/PA WireEmma Bunton arriving for the press night of Viva Forever at the Piccadilly Theatre, Denman Street, London. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire

Victoria Beckham thanked Saunders and producer Judy Craymer, and added: “Thank you to my family for being here, I love you all.”

Halliwell said: “There is one woman we have to thank and she is a true woman of girl power, Judy Craymer.

“We love you Judy. Thank you for making the Spice Girls dream come true!”

Guests were then taken to the after-party at Victoria Embankment Gardens on a fleet of traditional London Routemaster buses like the band drove on The Spice Girls Movie.