Ghost the Musical ( a brand new production on a UK tour) is one of the most emotionally compelling and dynamic musicals this reviewer has ever had the pleasure of enjoying. It is a terrific mix of romance, human desperation for greed, a gripping portrayal of life after death experience (brilliantly conveyed through clever stage tricks live on stage) and offers up a surprising amount of laugh out loud moments.
The four main characters are all convincingly played and beautifully sung. For Sam and Molly we have the talents of Andy Moss and Sarah Harding and such is their on stage connection that we really have a great sense of them as a couple torn apart by Sam’s death and a longing to be together again. Both actors require singing voices that can convey a wide range of emotions and boy do they do that. Sarah Harding is particularly moving and Andy Moss very powerful in his sung angst and tender in his love songs.
Sam’s double dealing ‘friend’ Carl is portrayed by Sam Ferriday – a fine and utterly believable actor with a true musical theatre voice. Ferriday is equally convincing in his working buddy role as he is through his greedy manipulations and false courtship of Molly.
Of course, such a wonderful character playing opportunity like the ‘larger than life’ Oda Mae has to fall to someone with terrific comedy and singing talents. Performer Jacqui Dubois delivers a show stopping performance as the nutty Oda giving the audience abundant laughs with her unique take on the character and her dealings with the spirit world and the ghost of Sam.
The show’s two most frightening roles, those of Sam’s killer Willy – an excellently nuanced portrayal by Leo Sene and the ghost on the subway – a terrifically unnerving performance from Garry Lee Netley give the show a gritty realism and horror.
The hard working Ghost ensemble deliver non stop energy throughout and we feel that their acting, dance and song input offers up a vibrant microcosm of New York characters delivered via choreographer Alistair David’s strong song and dance sections.
This stunning version of Ghost the Musical is tightly directed by Bob Tomson and the amazing stage design has been created by Mark Bailey with lighting and sound by Nick Richings and Dan Samson. Ghost the Musical’s creators are Bruce Joel Rubin (book and lyrics) Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard (music and lyrics). Musical director is Tim Whiting.
If you are a fan of the film or have never seen the film either way you will definitely not be disappointed. Take some hankies for the end.
Reviewer: Phil Lowe