Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Theatre: Viva Forever


On Wednesday, I went to see Viva Forever with Vicky (whose blog you can find here) in Piccadilly.
It’s had mixed reviews so far and to be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect, but knew it would have a fun vibe because of all the songs. On arrival, we needed to collect our tickets from reception and ended up being five minutes late. Unfortunately we were met with: “latecomers’ policy, you won’t be allowed to your seats until the opening 15 minutes are up” – something I have never experienced when going to a show, either locally or in London. We had to wait in the bar, watching the show from a screen, before being ushered to our seats by the attendant. Not the greatest of starts!
We got our tickets from ‘Show pairs’ on a 2-for-1 basis, which was a bargain really – there’s no way I’d have paid full price (£67.50), it seems totally unjustifiable. We had very good seats in the stalls, pretty much in the middle.
The story basically follows the central character Viva, who is propelled into stardom following ‘Starmaker’ a reality show similar to The X Factor. Following her journey, as she becomes separated from family and friends, it appears life in the spotlight isn’t what it’s cracked up to be. The repercussions don’t only affect her, but family, friends and the show’s staff.
Some of the songs fitted in nicely at the best couple were towards the end. At other times, it was difficult to even recognise the songs because they had been changed so much from the original. My favourites were the final couple: Viva Forever with Angel (played by Ben Cura) serenading Viva with an acoustic guitar and Headlines with Viva and her mum on their boat. ‘Two Becomes One’ also deserves a mention because of its comic value, although it was obvious where the song was going, in regards to the acting in that scene – predictable, if you will.
Angel was a personal highlight, as well as the male topless dancers in the ensemble – a bit of much needed eye candy for us girls! As you’d expect, the audience was predominantly female, although I was surprised to see as many men as I did – a lot of them had clearly been dragged along by their girlfriends.
All in all, it was pretty good, although not what I was expecting. The storyline in places dragged a bit and sometimes didn’t make much sense but it really delivered on the feel-good factor and had me laughing as well. I can see why it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but it wasn’t totally awful!
Oh, and as a side note, I had a lovely pot of strawberry ice cream in the interval, which kept me amused as I tried not to laugh at the people in front. One of the girls was a little over-zealous with her clapping and dancing and suffered an unfortunate incident, where her top ripped down one side!

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