Judy Craymer, who produced the international hit Mamma Mia!, is producing Viva, which is described as a "modern fable of camaraderie, love and loyalty based on the songs of the Spice Girls."
In a statement Craymer 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."
Saunders added, "I'm thrilled and terrified at the same time. It is very exciting to be writing a musical that encompasses the music and energy of the biggest girl-band of all time. 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."
Along with her comedy partner Dawn French, Saunders wrote and starred in the eponymous sketch show, "French and Saunders," and received international acclaim for writing and playing the lead role of Edina Monsoon in the BBC sitcom "Absolutely Fabulous."
Viva, which is scheduled to open in the West End in 2012, is produced by Craymer in association with Universal Music, Simon Fuller and the Spice Girls.