Former soap stars Bill Ward and Tamara Wall will join Sally Dexter to play a panel of reality TV judges in the eagerly anticipated Spice Girls musical Viva Forever!
Ward (Coronation Street), Wall (EastEnders) and Dexter (Billy Elliot The Musical) join the previously announce Sally Ann Triplett and Hannah John-Kamen in the Judy Craymer-produced musical that will begin preview performances at the Piccadilly theatre in late November.
In addition to his Weatherfield past playing Charlie Stubbs, Ward has appeared on stage in The Lion King and Monty Python's Spamalot. Similarly, when she wasn't playing Martine in Walford, Wall appeared in Legally Blonde The Musical. Dexter, whose TV credits include Night And Day and A Touch Of Frost, spent the summer playing The White Witch in The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe.
Written by comedian Jennifer Saunders and featuring the back catalogue of the 90s pop phenomenon that brought Girl Power to the globe, Viva Forever! is a romantic comedy about a family thrown into chaos when daughter Viva (John-Kamen) and her three friends Luce (Siobhan Athwal), Diamond (Lucy Phelps) and Holly (Dominique Provost-Chalkley) are drawn into the world of a TV talent show.
Speaking about the cast, which also includes Lucy Montgomery and Simon Slater, Craymer said: "We're very excited to be working with such a fabulous group of actors - not only does the cast include some of the most accomplished performers in British musical theatre, but we've discovered some wonderful newcomers as well. The story is not about the Spice Girls but rather a contemporary comedy musical with a funny and clever script by Jennifer, which is charged with all the energy and attitude of the girls themselves."
Rehearsals for the show that will have audiences tapping their feet to songs like Wannabe, Mama, Stop and Say You'll Be There begin next week before the production takes to the stage in November. Until then the Piccadilly theatre will continue to play host to the Olivier Award-nominated Ghost The Musical, which runs until 6 October.