Magical tricks fall short of being an absolute treat! Ghost the Musical takes a well-known film starring the late Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopee Goldberg and creates a stage production that all the creative team can be proud of.
It takes a perfect couple, Sam and Molly, with their perfect apartment living the dream of a perfect life only for it to be shattered when Sam is murdered by his friend and associate, Carl.
Sam, as you will anticipate, comes back as a spirit who has to enlist the help of con woman psychic Oda Mae Brown. Sam wants to ensure that Molly is safe from Carl’s intention towards her and sets out to achieve retribution for losing his perfect life.
The interaction between Sam (Stewart Clarke) and Oda Mae (played tonight by Karlene Wray) is a highlight and they maximise the comic moments in the show.
The passion and romance of Sam and Molly is delivered expertly although the climactic ending was somewhat mocked by laughter from a lone member of the audience.
The show for all its excellence in acting, lighting, special effects and cinematic backdrops seem to lack an important ingredient: the music itself. While not agreeing with a woman behind me who thought it was ‘awful’ there was no way I would have parted with hard cash for a cast recording of ‘Ghost’.
Despite its pedigree, Dave Stewart late of the Eurythmics and Glen Ballard may have created technically good music, but, with the exception of the anchor song ‘Unchained Melody’, there wasn’t a song that got inside my head. I was left with a feeling of disappointment having anticipated something relatively new and inspiring.
The subway ghost was played to perfection by Stevie Hutchison. The cast were flawless and for aficionados of theatre it’s worth coming along to marvel at the staging which is a hybrid between a film and a stage show.
When the theatres are littered with shows with thin plots reproducing pop songs in the form of a musical it is a pity that the original music did not match all the other attributes of this West End show.
Dates: 16th May to 1st June, 2013 (times and ticket prices vary)