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So on Wednesday night I went to a press night of the new Spice Girls musical, “Viva Forever”. I’d like to tell you I went the night before, when all the Spice Girls were there, but alas, I am not important enough…yet!

VIVA FOREVER!_7 Eternity 2 - Diamond (Lucy Phelps), Holly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley), Luce (Siobhan Athwal) and Viva (Hannah John-Kamen)

I won’t sugarcoat this – I was pretty disappointed. I was there to write the review for the Maidenhead Advertiser so please find the review below and you’ll hear my thoughts on the show. It wasn’t horrendous, but with Jennifer Saunders penning it, I would have liked to see theatrical excellence. What I got was more theatrical “meh”.

The residents of stalls rows N and O were treated to some added off-stage drama as well, when I had a row with the women sat behind myself and my friend Squirrel (we’re not that posh, she likes Squirrels). These two women, probably about 40 years old, were hammered on red wine, and chatted throughout the songs. I think they thought because the music was loud, they were allowed to talk through it. Then, they started to talk when the singing had ceased. They were drunkenly slurring that they didn’t like the show!!! Fair enough, but don’t shout about it midway through it.

I politely turned around and pressed my finger to my lip like a strict school mistress from the 1880s. The thin one looked at me sharply; the fat one said, again loudly, “she doesn’t feel well,” as she slung her plastic cup of  wine around as a means of gesturing. I had wanted to say “she feels fine, she’s just wasted and doesn’t realise that everyone can hear her slagging off the show.” But I merely turned in my seat to enjoy the current rendition of “Say You’ll Be There”.

The curtain fell for the interval (would Viva ever make up with her band mates, we were left wondering) and we all got up. The fat one was immediately all up in my grill: “she’s not well, okay!!!?” I retorted with “ok, but she was being pretty loud about it.” The fat one was like “don’t talk to me like that!” “Like what?” I asked. “Like I’m a child!” she spat back. “I’m really not, I was politely asking you to be quiet. If she’s ill, perhaps she should leave rather than discuss it loudly,” said I. Boom! The thin one interjected: “Yeah, I am ill!” she said, as if trying to convince me that she wasn’t purely hammered. “Ok, well I also heard you being very loud about what you thought of the show and I was aware everyone could hear you,” I said. True story.

By this point we had an audience (of the actual audience), given that the women were shouting, and my friend Squirrel had her hand to her mouth in disgust (she does that). THEN, the fat one started to well up! Fighting back the wine-tinted tears, she said: “I am not a child, goodbye!” and flounced off up the aisle.

On return to our seats for Act 2, I ignored them. However, they had a taste for blood, and the thin “ill” one, who had still decided not to go home, leant forward to get something out of her bag, and said into my ear like some sort of brazen, gravel-voiced harpy, “I’m just getting something from my bag. I hope that’s ok with you?” I then did that thing that kids do in school to wind up a teacher – laughed at her. Or was that just me that used to do that at teachers? Anyway, they kept quiet through Act 2, but I swear the fat one barged into me on purpose in the foyer afterwards, which was quite traumatic given her size. Go to the theatre with me, you’ll get a performance on stage, and a scene in the aisles.

Below is a picture I deliberately took for obvious reasons and click here for the review.

AB & VB @VF

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