LONDON FALL PREVIEW: Viva Forever!, The Bodyguard, People and The Effect

By Mark Shenton
01 Sep 2012

Heather Headley and Lloyd Owen
Photo by Matt Crockett

Musicals in the West End
The biggest new musicals are, of course, Viva Forever!, featuring the song catalogue of the Spice Girls that have been worked into a new story by Jennifer Saunders, under the stewardship of Mamma Mia! producer Judy Craymer (at the Piccadilly Theatre from Nov. 27); and The Bodyguard, based on the Kevin Costner/Whitney Houston film of the same name that will use Houston's hits and star Heather Headley and Lloyd Owen (at the Adelphi from Nov. 6).

The Beatles musical Rain, re-titled Let it Be, comes from Broadway to the Prince of Wales (from Sept. 14), before The Book of Mormon follows it into the same theatre (from Feb. 25, 2013). Will Young will star as the Emcee in the return of Rufus Norris' production of Kander and Ebb's Cabaret (Savoy Theatre from Oct. 3), with Michelle Ryan as Sally Bowles and veteran actress Sian Phillips as Fraulein Schneider.

Loserville, a new rock musical by James Bourne (best known for being a member of Busted and Son of Dork) and Elliot Davis, comes to the Garrick (from Oct. 1) after previously being seen at the West Yorkshire Playhouse in Leeds.

On the revivals front, Leslie Bricusse's Scrooge will return to the London Palladium with Tommy Steele once again playing the title role (from Oct. 24), and Trevor Nunn's current Chichester production of Cole Porter's Kiss Me, Kate will transfer to the Old Vic (from Nov. 20), with a cast that includes Hannah Waddingham, Alex Bourne and Adam Garcia.