Girl power for Beverley actress starring in Spice Girls music play

Hannah John Kamen pictured at the Piccadilly Theatre, London, as the cast of Viva Forever! is announced.
Hannah John Kamen pictured at the Piccadilly Theatre, London, as the cast of Viva Forever! is announced.

A Beverley-born actress has scooped one of the starring roles in the new musical Viva Forever! which will open at London’s Piccadilly Theatre in December.

Hannah John-Kamen (23) will make her West End debut in the show, which is inspired by the music of the Spice Girls.

For Hannah, who grew up listening to the music, winning the coveted role is a dream come true.

“I feel so honoured to be able to perform the Spice Girls’ music, which was such a big part of my childhood,” she said.

“As a young girl I loved the message about confidence and being true to yourself. I was a big fan - I had all the merchandise, the leopardskin trousers and all the posters. I used to dress as Mel B, but I loved them all.”

Hannah has already appeared in a number of TV shows, among them Channel 4’s Misfits, Charlie Brooker’s Black Mirror Series, the Syndicate and is shortly due to be seen in the second series of The Hour when it is screened later this year.

She says she is excited and privileged to have been offered the role of Viva in the new musical, penned by comedienne Jennifer Saunders.

“It is such an honour to have this show as my debut, I could not have asked for anything more. The whole team is so wonderful and supportive,” she said.

Hannah was born in Beverley Westwood Hospital and her parents still live in the town. She started dancing at the age of three and attended Hull Collegiate School, where she developed her love of drama.

She went on to study at the Central School of Speech and Drama in London for three years. After graduating last summer she did a workshop for the National Theatre and made her TV debut last Christmas.

Rehearsals for Viva Forever! have now got underway. The show, produced by Judy Craymer in association with the Spice Girls, Simon Fuller and Universal Music, is a romantic comedy.

It tells the story of a family thrown into chaos as Viva (played by Hannah), and her three best friends get swept up in a TV talent show where stars are born and dreams are shattered.

Viva, her mother Lauren (played by Sally Ann Triplett) and their closest friends see their lives and beliefs turned upside down by the relentless process of the talent show, during which Viva is forced to leave her friends behind and face the reality of fame.

The show opens with preview performances on Tuesday November 27, with the official opening on Tuesday December 11.