War Horse co-director Marianne Elliott is in negotiations to direct Viva Forever, the previously announced West End Spice Girls musical, according to the U.K.'s Daily Mail. A workshop of the show, written by comedian Jennifer Saunders, is expected to take place later this year with the finished production beginning performances late in 2012 or early 2013.
"I’m very excited at the idea of working with Marianne—as is Jennifer," producer Judy Craymer told the newspaper.
Viva Forever will not be a bio-play of the popular singing group and instead the story will take the structure of a TV talent contest. The show will explore the nature of instant celebrity, friendship, mother-daughter relationships and the impact of social networking on society. The show will include 18 Spice Girls songs such as "Stop," "Say You'll Be There" and the title song "Viva Forever."
"People aren’t going to be asked to play the Spice Girls, per se," Craymer said. "There’ll be a wink at them and, of course, their songs,"
The Spice Girls themselves (Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell, Victoria Beckham and Melanie Chisholm) will be involved during the show's pre-production.