Ghost the Musical,
**** 4 Stars
“ Emotionally effecting”
Bill Kenwright’s new production of Ghost as Directed by Bob Thomson returns to the tour circuit following the lacklustre 2016 tour that saw the critical mauling of Sarah Harding. The staging itself hasn’t changed for the 2019 production however a terrific cast has been brought into the show and finally Bill Kenwright’s production of Ghost does justice to the original, well almost.
Originally produced in 2011 in Manchester prior to a west end run, the musical follows the story of the 1990 Oscar and Bafta award winning movie. Sam (played to perfection by Niall Sheehy) and Molly ( an emotionally charged performance by Rebekah Lowings) a New York couple are deeply in love until torn apart by a seemingly senseless murder. Sam dies but doesn’t move to heaven as there was more sense to the death than first thought, He was murdered to hide the criminal activities of his supposed best friend Carl (a perfect villain take by Sergio Pasquariello). The resulting story is one of love, loss and crime thriller mixed together with a wonderful modern musical theatre score by Dave Stewart (yes, he of the eurythmics) and Glenn Ballard.
The show works so well as original film writer Bruce Joel Rubin writes the book and lyrics and includes the iconic Potters wheel scene and yes Unchained melody remains intact. It’s the raw human emotion that grips the audiences and I defy you not to shed a tear as Sam reveals the emotional truth of the power of love in a truly Emotionally Effecting finale to the show.
Why the 4 stars? Simply it’s the production value, the west end production installed a plethora of illusions to make Sam truly a ghost presence, being able to pass through solid objects and move things without seemingly touching them. The same effects were utilised in the original UK tour so its possible for such magical moments to be recreated. This production dispenses with them, simply using a slatted cloth in place of a door panel is not enough to truly make us believe in Sam’s Ethereal being.
That aside this is a vast improvement on the previous UK tour and its thanks to that stellar cast who managed to engage the audience from the off and the emotion is never cloying but remains honest and truthful and makes for a truly satisfying evening of musical theatre.
You wont go wrong buying a ticket to this production of Ghost, so do just that and loose yourself in the power of love.
Bill Kenwright presents, Ghost the Musical, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh, Runs until Saturday 2nd March, for tickets go to: https://www.capitaltheatres.com/whats-on/ghost