After a less-than-smooth run in the West End, the Spice Girls musical Viva Forever! plays its final performance at the Piccadilly Theatre tonight. Despite involvement from the likes of such great creative minds as that of producer Judy Craymer and writer Jennifer Saunders, as well as the expectation of a built-in fan base, the jukebox musical failed to achieve sustainable success and so ends its run after a mere six months in the West End. It may not have been everyone’s cup of tea, but the closure of a show is always coated with at least a tinge of regret – for the fact that it did not succeed, for the disappointment that the creative team must undoubtedly feel, and of course, for the cast who worked so hard to bring the show to life on stage each night. The closure of Viva Forever! is no exception. The cast will be experiencing both sadness and pride as they take to the stage of the Piccadilly Theatre for the last time tonight; mourning the loss of a production they clearly believed in while celebrating having been a part of it. In turn, they too should be celebrated for their commitment to the show and the outstanding performances they gave over the last six months. That is why, on Viva Forever!’s final day, cast member Zak Nemorin is the featured ensemble member for this week’s In Profile.
Zak Nemorin is a talented stage performer who has over ten years of experience working in the theatre industry. He trained at the Millennium Performing Arts, London Studio Centre and the BRIT School, honing the skills that have served him so well in his professional career so far. Many former students of the BRIT School have gone on to become highly successful in various areas of the entertainment industry, and Nemorin is well on his way to doing just that on the stages of London’s West End.
Looking at the timeline of his career, it’s interesting to note that while the closure of Viva Forever! currently marks one end of it, another jukebox musical marks the other. Nemorin was part of the original cast of the West End production of Queen musical We Will Rock You, which is still running at the Dominion Theatre where it first opened in 2002. This small involvement in what is now one of the West End’s most popular shows today was just one of dozens he can proudly include in his portfolio of theatre credits. He has since performed in a variety of theatre-based productions, including a number of which were performed in front of a West End audience. He was in the West End production of Chicago during its time at the Adelphi Theatre as well as performing in another original cast of a West End musical, this time in the 2004 premiere of Mary Poppins. He performed in the show’s ensemble and understudied the role of Robertson Ay, first at the Bristol Hippodrome, and following its West End transfer, the Prince Edward Theatre.
Nemorin has also gained experience performing in touring productions. He played the role of Double J on the UK tour of Saturday Night Fever in addition to being the understudy/alternate Tony Manero, the central character of the musical. Further performances in touring production include playing Mungojerrie/Skimbleshanks and understudying The Rum Tum Tugger in the UK, Portuguese and Italian national tour, and appearing in the UK tour of Carousel, which subsequently transferred to the Savoy Theatre for a West End run.
More recently, he has been involved with some productions which have received great critical acclaim. He performed in Chichester as the On Stage Swing and cover Head Waiter in their production of She Loves Me, and also understudied the role of Daddy Brubeck in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s acclaimed revival of Sweet Charity in 2004, both in its original venue and then the Theatre Royal Haymarket. One of his most notable theatre credits would be that of Legally Blonde though, which ran at the Savoy Theatre between 2009 and 2012. He played Nikos/Padamadan in the original UK tour production which followed the show’s closure in the West End, also understudying the roles of Chad/Dewey/Kyle.
Nemorin’s other projects include understudying the title role in Aladdin at the Old Vic, workshopping Daddy Cool – The Musical and choreographing Freshwave Expression, Last Minute Tango and Heat of the Night for MPA. He also teaches at Millennium Performing Arts.
He joined Viva Forever! as part of the original cast, performing as a member of the show’s ensemble team. He covers several characters in the show and has played the roles of Angel (Musical Director of the TV reality show) and Lance (Presenter of the TV reality show) during the course of his time there. Those who were in audience at this month’s West End Live event in Trafalgar Square may have spotted him performing with the cast of Viva Forever! He was also involved with the annual MADTrust charity event West End Eurovision, where the show’s cast made their WEE debut with the 2012 Malta Eurovision entry ‘This Is The Night’ and thoroughly entertained with their Beyonce dance-off in the middle of the performance.
Zak Nemorin has enjoyed a varied and impressive stage career so far, but has only tasted the ‘big-time’ as an understudy for the more prominent roles. A talented and dedicated performer, it’s only natural to assume that bigger and better things await him. We wish him well for his final performance in Viva Forever! and good luck for the future.
You can follow Zak on twitter: (@zaknemorin)
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
Saturday 29th June 2013