Students bring riches to rags story to Stratford

PUBLISHED: 12:00 06 June 2015 | UPDATED: 12:47 08 June 2015

Trinity Laban students perform play

Trinity Laban students perform play

Many of us know the story of Viv Nicholson – who became famous after she promised to “spend spend spend” when her husband won £152,319 on the football pools in 1961.

Viv NicholsonViv Nicholson

Staying true to her pledge, Viv blew the cash in only three years.

From then on, her rags to riches and back to rags life story has never failed to fascinate. She even had a whole play dedicated to her life on the West End stage.

And now, it’s the turn of students at highly acclaimed college, Trinity Laban, in Greenwich, to take on the Yorkshire lass’s life for the stage at Stratford Circus.

Spend, Spend, Spend will take the audience through the downfalls, happy times, and love stories of the former cake factory worker.

Vicki Stretton, a teacher at Trinity Laban, said: “The story shows the rise to fame and how quickly people can lose everything too.

“We will show her story as she goes through five husbands, fast cars and bankruptcy so it really touches on the theme of money and how this can really play on people’s lives.”

Viv, who died in April after being diagnosed with dementia, was left bankrupt after her husband Keith died in 1965.

Following his death, Viv battled depression and migrated to Malta for a short time. But, she was deported for fighting a policeman.

“She had a hectic life and we’re portraying this through musical theatre,” Vicki explained.

“And we’re really excited to be performing in Stratford as it is such a fantastic venue.

“There is so much diversity and we’re so glad to have worked with the theatre for the past four years.”

Students at the college will also be performing another show, called Lucky Stiff, at the theatre after Spend Spend Spend.

“This is also based on the money theme but will be more of a comedy,” Vicki said.

“The students are really looking forward to performing but it will also form part of their final assessments so they are naturally nervous.

“But, they are aspiring professionals and I think they are bringing something to the stage which will attract a wider audience because of the genre and theme. It’s going to be great and we hope everyone will enjoy.”

Spend, Spend, Spend will be staged at Stratford Circus from Thursday until Saturday. 
Tickets start at £5. For more information on the show or to buy tickets visit

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