Ghost The Musical review (UK Tour): A romantic stage adaptation of a modern classic film which is very well executed…
Ghost The Musical returns for its 2019 tour. This new re-imagined version of the musical has new music, expanded book and original staging. The excellent Jacqui Dubois has reprised her role of Oda Mae brilliantly, as you follow the tale of Sam (Niall Sheehy) and Molly (Rebekah Lowings). This is still a moving heartfelt love story that makes you want to hold on to your loved ones a little more tightly.
Lovers Molly and Sambuy their first apartment together in the ‘up and coming’ Bronx district of New York, and quickly set about doing it up. The chemistry between the lead couple is immediate, they spark off each other and get passionate in the classic clay-pot throwing scene. The initial scenes are rattled off fairly quickly, leaving only a little time for enjoying the build up to the fateful walk after dark. Willie Lopez (Jules Brown) drags the story into the dark underbelly of New York when a bold Sam is shot as he tries to protect Molly from the armed robbery. The shock of the scene and the sadness felt by Molly is heart wrenchingly depicted and carries the same impact as the original film.
Sam is made aware of his ghostly existence as he is transported from the scene of his own death to the hospital and eventually his own funeral. The Ghost in the hospital helps Sam some to terms with his alternate reality, one Sam is extremely reluctant to accept. Sams hope of redemption comes in the form of Oda May Brown, a Clairvoyant / Fraudster who does actually have extraordinary powers as she really can hear Sam. The comedy of Sam teasing Oda into helping him out gives some relief to the sadness of the musical. His persistence pays off and she helps Sam get in touch with Molly, solve the mystery of his death and visit hope, lust, greed, finally arriving at redemption along the way.
The pace of the musical was good, it is possibly slightly rushed through the first few scenes, but this became much better in the second half, giving the audience time to soak in the atmosphere and grieve over Sam’s untimely death. The classic scenes of the film are mostly all there, ticking all the boxes for the serious Ghost fan. Of particular note is the train scene where Sam meets the subway ghost (Lovonne Richards) who teaches Sam how to focus his grief and anger to get back into the real world, if only for a fleeting moment. The use of lighting and slow-motion movements gave a dramatic inside view through the train carriage with Sam being levitated by the ghostly powers.
The tension in the second half is palpable within the audience as the suspense between Sam, Molly, and Carl builds and the deceit is discovered and the plot gets more dramatic. The vocal score is excellent, although challenging to match the singalong-ability of the classic Unchained Melody.
The story is a classic tale of love lost too soon, and is translated extremely well from film to stage, a show to be recommend for all who are fans of a classic love story.
Ghost The Musical review by Katey Thompson.
Ghost The Musical plays at the New Victoria Theatre Woking until 9th February 2019.