Spice Girls unite as musical opens

Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell and Melanie Brown at the Piccadilly Theatre

David and Victoria Beckham with their children Romeo, Cruz and Brooklyn arriving for the press night of Viva Forever

Melanie Brown, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Melanie Chisholm arriving for the press night of Viva Forever

Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Victoria Beckham with the cast at the press night of Viva Forever

First published in National News © by

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

The band - Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton, Victoria Beckham, Melanie Chisholm and Melanie Brown - 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.

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.

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

Mother-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.

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