Critics slam Spice Girls musical
The long-awaited Spice Girls musical failed to go down well with the critics following its premiere last night.
After months of hype, Viva Forever! - penned by Jennifer Saunders - opened at the Piccadilly Theatre in London.
Produced by Mamma Mia's Judy Craymer, Viva Forever! satirises The X Factor and is the story of an aspiring singer who, with her best friends, gets swept up in a TV talent show which turns her life upside down.
But the Daily Mirror's Alun Palmer called the plot "cliched" and the dialogue "leaden", and said that "laughs, from writer Saunders, are surprisingly few and far between".
The Daily Mail's Quentin Letts was also unimpressed, calling the jukebox musical "a prize Christmas turkey". The Independent's Paul Taylor said the show was "lacking in any true original or challenging spark of its own". "Viva Forever! forever? I rather think not," he wrote.
The Sun's Poppy Cosyns, who wrote that seeing the Spice Girls at Wembley at the age of eight had been one of her childhood highlights, gave it a better review.
The show had "lived up to all the hype", she said, adding that "Saunders has done a great job with the script and the show flows really well."
After the show ended, Spice Girls Emma Bunton, Mel B, Mel C, Geri Halliwell and Victoria Beckham led the audience in a standing ovation before joining the cast on stage for the curtain call where the band shared a group hug.
But earlier in the evening, while the other four girls sat together, giggling and hugging and posing for pictures on their mobile phones, Victoria kept the audience waiting for curtain up after arriving late because she was reported to be stuck in traffic.
She sat with husband David, who sang along and danced to the Spice Girls medley during the curtain call, and her three sons.