With news that long running West End hit Mamma Mia! is to transfer from the Prince Of Wales theatre to the Novello theatre in September next year, rumours are already circulating about its possible replacement.
Upcoming Spice Girls musical Viva Forever is currently being penned by comedy legend Jennifer Saunders and we know it is scheduled to open somewhere in London next year. The show is set to be produced by Judy Craymer, the mastermind producer behind the ABBA musical. Mamma Mia is due to vacate the Prince Of Wales on the 1st September and swiftly reopen at the Novello five days later. Under usual circumstances it would take at least a month for the theatre to be readied for another large show, meaning that Viva Forever could viably open there late October to mid November.
This would seem to tie in with known perfectionist Saunders' timeframe who is said to be taking her time with the script for the show in order to get it right.
Although she was announced just over a year ago as the show's author Saunders time since has been filled with writing four new Absolutely Fabulous scripts as well as fighting a battle with cancer. The full promotional blitz for a big scale new musical usually starts at least six months before it opens, which would fit comfortably into an early 2012 slot. The Spice Girls have already been rumoured to be involved in the 2012 Olympics ceremony, and Saunders has an Olympics themed Ab Fab special already in the can ready to be screened around that time. There will be a big celebration of all things British next year, and who more proud ambassadors than the world-conquering Spice Girls? The public's appetite will be well and truly whetted for the upcoming theatrical show.
Now that the clues are being pieced together we can almost start getting excited about that opening night. What will Victoria wear? Is there still a frostiness with girl-overboard Geri? Will David come? And don't bet against a TV talent search next summer fronted by at least some of the girls themselves in the style of Any Dream Will Do, Over The Rainbow and How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria. Geri has appeared on the judging panel for Popstars The Rivals and both she and Victoria have been guest judges on The X Factor. Emma Bunton judges for Dancing On Ice and Mel B has recently become a full time judge on X Factor Australia. A revenue generating TV tie-in and exposure explosion? Pure Spice Girls!
Watch this space and remember - London Theatre Direct told you first!