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Goodbye, My Friends

May 8, 2013

As both regular readers know, I’ve been running a little bit of a rear-guard action over “Viva Forever!”

This Spice Girls musical got a barrel of terrible reviews when it opened in December 2012, but when I saw it in January 2013 I thought it was actually modestly entertaining. Certainly it didn’t work particularly well as a musical – you can’t just abandon the story after the interval – but the young cast were infectiously enthusiastic, and as “bad” shows go, this one really was half decent.

What I am saying is that instead of celebrating it as a disaster, it should be congratulated for managing to keep going for as long as it has. A producer that has faith in her product (and very deep pockets to back it up) is to be commended. She tried to get the show back together, but it really had its reputation so badly trashed that there wasn’t a chance of a comeback. A less wealthy or generous producer would have closed the show within two weeks of those reviews, I think.

OK, if they had let folk like myself in to see it earlier it might have helped build a bit of “word of mouth,” but I hope I did a bit to send a few folk to see it. Certainly, I know my own ticket sales were pretty good, actually.

Anyway, if it is any consolation, it isn’t, by far, the worst show I’ve ever seen at the Piccadilly Theatre. That honour goes to “King.” A deeply boring show about Martin Luther King Junior, and an LP that gathers dust in my collection after only a single playing.

If I had to nominate a runner up, it would be “Moby Dick.” A rare Cameron Mackintosh failure, it has cult status now. Back then, I’m afraid I could barely hear a word of it, as the sound design was so awful… but the story didn’t make sense and the music was forgettable anyway. The CD is actually better than the show, I’d say.

Finally, who can forget “Which Witch.” Oh my… It doesn’t make the two worst shows I’ve seen at that theatre for a simple reason… the memory of devils abseiling off the upper circle to s**g the nymphs on stage (note: all celestial encounters are hetero) to close act one has to be the weirdest curtain I’ve ever seen. The CD is even stranger, without the strange visuals to make sense of what we are seeing.

So, Goodbye, My Friends, and I hope the cast and crew all find new jobs very soon – they deserve them.

One Comment
  1. Sarah permalink
    May 8, 2013 9:29 am

    Phew… I have to admit at taking a sharp intake of breath at the title of this blog entry!! Thankfully ,you are not throwing in the towel – I do enjoy reading your blog and look forward to your ramblings and rants! Viva Forever is one of the few shows in town that I have not seen – I take little notice of bad reviews and like to make up my own mind , there just has been so little time ,with so many other great shows to see on my visits to London. I guess I will not get to see it now before it closes..unless I win tickets of course 😉

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