Spice Girls with Viva Forever! creators Judy Cramer and Jennifer Saunders.
Spice Girls with Viva Forever! creators Judy Cramer and Jennifer Saunders. Bang Showbiz

Spice Girls musical shut down with $9m loss

THE Spice Girls musical will close next month.

'Viva Forever!' - which is based on the songs of the pop quintet and was written by Jennifer Saunders - opened last November and had recently had its run extended to February 2014, but the cast and crew were reportedly told yesterday (01.05.13) that the production on London's West End will finish on June 26.

The show was slammed by critics when it was reopened, prompting a recent revamp and speculation huge parts of the musical were to be rewritten in a bid to attract more audiences.

The Independent's Paul Taylor said it was "lacking in any true original or challenging spark of its own."

Viva Forever! featured all of the Spice Girls hits, including "Wannabe" but word-of-mouth among audiences was poor.

Some expressed disappointment that the show did not feature the Spice Girls as characters.

According to the Daily Mail newspaper, 'Viva Forever!', will close at a loss of at least £5 million.

In a Twitter post Geri Halliwell revealed: "We love u all @vivaforever , @emmabunton @MelanieCmusic @OfficialMelB @victoriabeckham #what a shocka , gutted x (sic)"

Emma Bunton later tweeted: "I am totally gutted that our wonderful show @vivaforever is coming to an end. Thank you to all our amazing fans for your constant support!"

And in a tweet reposted by her bandmate Mel B, Mel C said: "Absolutely devastated our wonderful show is closing. Thank you to our brilliant cast and everybody who made the show so incredible. (sic)"

Though Victoria Beckham hasn't commented herself on the news, the group have issued a statement on the closure of the musical - which was created by Judy Cramer and Jennifer Saunders and opened in November 2012.

They said: "We want to thank the cast and all the fans for their support, and although 'Viva Forever!' won't continue in the West End we are thrilled that the thousands of people who came to the show had as much fun as we did."

Cast members Anthony Topham and Ben Cura - who play Lance and Angel - have also taken to Twitter to talk about the closure.

Anthony tweeted: "Cut price Gerrard Butler type who can do a Geordie accent for hire!

"Viva Forever given its notice and will close 29th June.

#iblamesting (sic)"

And Ben wrote: "that's the way it goes - can't win them all!"

The show was scheduled to run until at least February 2014.

Viva Forever! was backed by Simon Fuller, the music entrepreneur who put the "girl power" quintet together and Universal Music. It was hoped that the show would be rolled out as a global franchise, running simultaneously on stages from Broadway to Asia, where the Spice Girls became huge stars.

Despite Viva Forever!'s failure, a new "talent show"-inspired musical, endorsed by Simon Cowell, is set to open later this year.

The £6 million X Factor - It's Time To Face The Musical! will open at the London Palladium next Spring. Created by comic Harry Hill, the satire on the ITV talent show, featuring the judges as characters and 19 new songs, has been given the go-ahead by producers Stage Entertainment and Cowell's company, Syco Entertainment.

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