I aren’t typically a fan of book to film adaptations (think One Day in particular) and from previous experiences I haven’t always been the biggest fan of taking a film and putting it on stage. Grease the Musical left me massively underwhelmed and I’m pretty sure it’s the fact that because it’s such an iconic film, its hard to do it justice once its ingrained as one of the classics of our time and we can recite the movie line by line (just me?).
The Double Academy Award winning movie is a huge success story, both critically and at the box office, where it was the highest grossing film in the year of its release. It starred the late Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore, Tony Goldwyn and Whoopi Goldberg and was directed by Jerry Zucker.
More than 20 years since it’s release in 1990, Ghost has been given a musical makeover and despite my initial excitement, I had a nagging fear that I’d watch it in the same way that I watched Grease – my hands over my eyes, guffawing at how they’d interpreted certain scenes, the way they switched the songs around to different moments in the story and the lacking of John Travolta as “Zucko baby”.
Former Hollyoaks actor Andy Moss fills Swayze’s shoes as New York banker Sam Wheat, who is murdered and left in limbo between heaven and hell whilst his girlfriend Molly (Lauren Drew) is trying to come to terms with his sudden death. With Molly growing close to Sam’s former colleague in her vulnerable state, the truth of why Sam was murdered and who was involved is starting to be uncovered which leaves Molly in harms way.
In a bid to bring justice to his murderers and to free the limbo state he finds himself in, Sam turns to Oda Mae Brown (Jacqui Dubois), a psychic who can communicate with Sam and helps to briefly reunite him with a heartbroken Molly. Oda Mae’s larger than life character, facial expressions, mannerisms and witty one liners gave the audience some much needed comedic reprieve and truly did the role originally played by Whoopi Goldberg justice.
Aside from the “no Patrick Swayze” non issue, one of the reasons I was doubtful that Ghost the Musical would work was the simple dynamics of how they would achieve on stage the special effects which seamlessly ties this supernatural meets romance film together. Achieving that kind of magic on stage is something which would require perfect timing and clever stage setting. Hold onto your seats theatre goers, Ghost the Musical is going all 2k17 on us with state of the art video projections that really bring the story “to life” (ironic turn of phrase considering the show name). Most memorably the subway scene and where Sam takes over Oda Mae’s body to dance with Molly. The scene is pure perfection and such a lovely moment.
The projections really help to enhance the show which successfully stays true to it’s story line of love, romance and iconic scenes such as the pottery scene.
Each film/show has its iconic soundtrack and Unchained Melody by the Righteous Brothers is Ghost through and through and in my eyes, even when sung by once teen heart throb, Gareth Gates. Unchained Melody is featured a number of times throughout the course of the show along with a number of original songs such Lauren’s heart wrenching performance of “With You“, an ode to Sam and the life they shared. Her performance had tears burning the back of my eyeballs and threatened to turn my cheeks a watery shade of inky black. Luckily, I am nothing but a resourceful beauty blogger and ensured I was lashed up in my best waterproof mascara (L’Oreal Telescopic Lash Waterproof, if you’re interested).
I insist that whether you’ve seen the film or not you go and see this show. If not for the love story, then for the clever use of technology which delivers an amazing piece of theatre.
Ghost the Musical will be at the Regent Theatre until Saturday 25th March 2017 and you can book your tickets online or via the box office.