Saunders to write Spice Girls musical

Plot based on TV talent shows

Jennifer Saunders is writing the script of the Spice Girls musical, Viva Forever, it has been confirmed.

The Ab Fab creator said she was ‘thrilled and terrified’ by the job of creating a plot based around the group’s songs.

She is the second Eighties alternative comedian to turn to writing pop-based West End musicals, following Ben Elton’s much-criticised, but hugely successful, Queen show We Will Rock You.

Mother-of-three Saunders said: ‘My daughters grew up with The Spice Girls; I had to write the book for them as well as myself. It has been great fun so far.’

Viva Forever producer Judy Craymer – also the brains behind Abba musical Mamma Mia! – said: ‘Having Jennifer Saunders on board is the best possible start Viva Forever can have.

‘We are creating a new contemporary story about friendship, celebrity and fame with the music of the Spice Girls. Jennifer is brilliant at writing about these themes and the Spice Girls' songs connect powerfully in a smart and moving way.’

Viva Forever is expected to have its world premiere in the West End sometime in 2012. It will be set around a TV talent hunt, rather than being a straightforward tribute show.

‘It has a glimpse of the underbelly of TV talent shows, an invented show, and a little bit of comedy romance,’ Craymer said

Saunders, 52, was recently given the all-clear following a fight with breast cancer.

Published: 3 Sep 2010

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