Ghost the Musical
Reviewed on Tuesday 25th April 2017 by Sebastian Singh
Photo Credit: Matt Martin
Based on the blockbuster film with Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg; many would not believe it could be made better. The musical focuses on Sam and Molly, a couple who are madly in love but are tragically separated when they are mugged at gunpoint and Sam is murdered. He is trapped as a ghost, unable to leave Molly; with the help of psychic Oda Mae Brown, he tries his best to protect Molly from grave danger.
This Bill Kenwright production, directed by Bob Tomson was a wonderful portrayal of the enduring love story that audiences have come to love. Bringing this narrative to a live stage enhances the emotions portrayed and immerses you in the story. However, the set design was very two-dimensional and unimpressive; it lost a lot of the impact of scenes through boring and flat designs. When it came to Sam’s death, I could see the shadow of the body double from behind the on-stage flat and it took away from much of the magic. On the other hand, I was impressed by the creative work to create the subway train and the ending moment, where Sam disappears through clever lighting and smoke.
The part of Molly this evening was played by Kelly Hampson, who had a slightly timid start but quickly grew into the role. “With You” in Act One was a beautiful moment and she ended the show very strongly, making myself and many others in the audience well up as she sees Sam for the final time. Andy Moss as Sam was a good choice and he did well to sing a hard score, although at times, some notes felt strained.
Carl played by Ethan Bradshaw had a fantastic accent and did a good job as the understudy for this role. Jacqui Dubois as Oda Mae Brown was one of the strongest performers on stage; this part naturally brings the necessary humour to such a tragic story. Jacqui sang well but it was her acting and comic timing that were sublime and helped her achieve the biggest applause of the night.
With this story being so focused on the main characters, the ensemble sometimes felt misplaced and simply entered because songs were written for a chorus to sing rather than them being integral to the story.
The story is one that audiences will always love and it made for a pleasant evening at the theatre.
This production finishes its tour at The Lowry on Saturday 29th April 2017.