Blackpool showbar set to stage West End musical as it unveils entertainment for its 10th anniversary

One of Blackpool’s iconic entertainment venues is set to celebrate its 10th anniversary this year with a host of new shows.

By Tim Gavell
Friday, 22nd April 2022, 4:55 am

And the Viva Blackpool showbar will host its first West End Musical, plus shows featuring top-class comedy and music.

Opened in 2012, Viva has been entertaining 150,000 visitors annually with a programme of live entertainment produced in house by owners Martin Heywood and Leye D Johns.

They said this summer will see the most exciting new line up of shows ever produced in the cabaret-style theatre, with a different attraction every night from June through November.

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Martin Heywood, Managing Director and Leye D Johns, Host and Compère at VIVA Blackpool. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

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For the first time, Viva will stage a full West End musical – Boogie Nights The 70’s Musical. Described as hilarious and heart-warming, featuring a hit “soundtrack of our lives”, it will star Shane Nolan as the lead.

Jon Conway, the show’s original London director who will stage this Viva version, said: “Boogie Nights always had a terrific party atmosphere and I’m really excited we have secured a large and talented cast of established musical theatre performers to stage the show at Viva.”

Viva will hold a celebratory 10th Anniversary Command performance on August 12, welcoming a star-studded line up 10-years to the day since opening its doors for the first time.

The team from Viva brought their inimitable glamour to the recent Stay Blackpool expo at the Winter Gardens.

Among the new entertainment, Resident host Leye D Johns will headline Viva The Show, which he said was “a vibrant, spectacular production with a glamorous cast of singers and dancers, showcasing the best of showbiz glitz at the heart of Blackpool’s Golden Mile.”

New for 2022, Viva Country Legends starring Danni Graham as Dolly Parton, will feature a live band onstage in a tribute to country icons including Johnny Cash, Garth Brooks and Glen Campbell.

Seasonal favourites return including hit show, Oh What A Night starring The Jersey Beats, celebrating the hits of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons, plus Voulez-Vous, a celebration of legendary pop four-piece, Abba.

Bosses said Viva will become the home of family entertainment as part of it’s 10th anniversary celebration welcoming the Crazy Comedy Company – a show which has been a hit at Butlins resorts for the past two years and the Edinburgh Festival. The show brings a zany mix of cirque skills and family comedy in a teatime show during all school holiday breaks.

Inside the cabaret room at VIVA Blackpool as it prepares to celebrate its 10th anniversary. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard

Big name stars will return including comedians Joe Pasquale and Billy Pearce. For those who like the comedy a little more adult, the inimitable Joey Blower is set appear every weekend lunchtime from April until October.

In a nonstop year of celebrations, Viva is set to welcome more new attractions, shows and events including Bingo Loco and tributes to a range of artists such as Amy Winehouse and George Michael.

Owners Martin Heywood and Leye D Johns, said: “It’s been a spectacular 10-years and an amazing privilege to play an integral role in Blackpool’s resurgence as the UK’s favourite family destination. Through hard work, dedication and a huge wealth of talent Viva has become an entertainment mecca, welcoming thousands of visitors each season.

“As well as a top-class programme of entertainment featuring a wide range of brand-new shows and returning favourites, more than £250,000 with the support of the Arts Council is set to be invested to ensure we continue to grow, producing the best in live entertainment in the heart of Blackpool”

Construction work is currently taking place at VIVA Blackpool ahead of its 10 year anniversary. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard
Exterior of VIVA Blackpool as it celebrates its 10th anniversary. Photo: Kelvin Stuttard