Elliott will work with Saunders on the book and stage a workshop of the musical, with the show planned to open in late 2012. All of the Spice Girls are involved in the show’s development.
Judy Craymer said in a statement: "I am delighted that Marianne has agreed to direct Viva Forever. With her theatrical aptitude for exploring strong women and their relationships and her meticulousness to detail, she is absolutely the right person to direct this new musical which is all about female friendship, celebrity and fame. I’m so happy to have her on board, together with Jennifer Saunders, who has written the musical."
Simon Fuller who manages the Spice Girls added: "The girls and I are delighted that one of the most brilliant female theatre directors, Marianne Elliott, is to direct Viva Forever. Judy, Jennifer and now Marianne, make an eminent team.”
Viva Forever will revolve around a TV talent contest with Craymer aiming to explore the nature of instant celebrity and how our culture is being driven by Facebook and Twitter and the impact they have on fame.
Craymer said: “I’m interested in the sense of fame, and how it’s sustained. People aren’t going to be asked to play the Spice Girls, per se. There’ll be a wink at them and, of course, their songs”. She made clear that the show won’t be a biographical musical about the Spice Girls.
Saunders’ first draft of Viva Forever features 18 numbers including Stop, Say You’ll Be There, Viva Forever and Never Give Up On the Good Times.
With three women at the helm Viva Forever really is promoting girl power.