Jeffrey Anthony Allentown Rotherham
Advertiser 22 February 2008
round-up of the Spend, Spend, Spend story does not fill
you with hopes of a colourful, uplifting musical.
the West Yorkshire town of Castleford, it chronicles the
real life drama of Viv Nicholson, her rise to fame after
vowing to "spend, spend, spend" a £152,000 pools win,
and her fall from grace after blowing the lot, losing
husband Keith in a tragic car crash and suffering the
physical and emotional trials of three doomed marriages.
musical, however, based on Viv's book of the same name,
manages to capture the tale with a poignancy and good
humour which allows an audience to enjoy the most
exciting period in the life of one of Yorkshire's most
at the hands of the very capable Wickersley Operatic
Society it does.
at Rotherham's Civic Theatre until tomorrow, the
company's accomplished performances, live musical
accompaniment and impressive sets have captured the
spirit of the story.
for much of the night, Amy Vickers, playing young Viv,
steals the show with strong, consistent singing and
emotional investment in the role.
stage chemistry with Scott Johnson—who plays the love of
Viv's life, second husband Keith—highlights the story's
main theme, that of a couple isolated by the effects of
their big win.
couple move to Garforth to escape the jealousy of
neighbours before tiring of middle-class sniping and
taking an ill-fated trip to New York, all the while
gambling, drinking and spend, spend, spending their way
Choreographed dance routines and a packed stage
characterise this lively and bustling production, which
portrays the couple's lavish and excessive lifestyle.
two brings the turning point in Viv's life.
back from Wetherby races, Keith is killed in an accident
at the wheel of his Jaguar. The heartbreak and
self-doubt triggered by her loss is played with deep
emotion by Amy, and news of the bank's seizure of all
Viv's assets brings the musical to its gripping climax.
Rattling through three marriages that saw Viv
desperately searching for love after Keith—an episode
which saw her suffer both grief and physical abuse—the
play arrives at a time where the mum-of-three is able to
reflect on life with great candour, something she is
still able to do today.
playing and enthusiastic dance sequences characterise
Spend, Spend, Spend, and the accomplished manner in
which WOS brought it to the Rotherham stage has captured
Viv's spirit perfectly.
Kelly, playing Viv's dad, Simon, and the crisp vocals of
narrator Rachel Marshall, playing the modern day Viv,
helped to highlight the musical's inherent Yorkshire
Viv agrees...when she takes her seat for tomorrow
Rotherham Advertiser Reporter