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Ghost The Musical – Opera House, Manchester

Book and Lyrics: Bruce Joel Rubin

Music &Lyrics: Dave Stewart &Glen Ballard

Director: Matthew Warchus

Reviewer: Helen Patrick

[Rating:4.5]

Ghost the Musical Uk TourGhost, the ultimate love story, bought to our screens over twenty years ago with Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze gets a powerful and emotive transfer to the stage and returns to Manchester following its original outing in 2011.

The musical like the film follows the lives of Sam Wheat (Stewart Clarke) and Molly Jensen (Rebecca Trehearn) are on the up, their love couldn’t be stronger, there are renovating their dream home, life is perfect… until tragedy strikes!

Original writer Bruce Joel Rubin has stayed faithful to his original creation, while allowing plenty of original touches to life the production where perhaps the film couldn’t, Director Matthew Warchus brings an strong and balanced production, which enhanced considerably by Paul Kieve’s ingenious illusions and Rob Howell’s stunning set design, both are complimented by Hugh Vanstone &Tim Lutkin’s lighting design.

Clarke and Trehearn have an incredible chemistry on stage, really igniting Molly and Sam’s relationship, their journey on stage is a delight to watch and one can’t help but shed a few tears throughout the production, but the show is ultimately stolen by Wendy Mae Brown as the over the top psychic Oda Mae Brown, this woman could sing the phonebook and still bring the house down, an incredible presence and an incredible performance.

Ghost the Musical is constantly creative, the subway scene is a real showstopper, and proves that taking risks on style and presentation can really work in theatre, Hannah Bell’s costumes also work on many levels, particularly her “afterlife costumes”. Ashley Wallen also lets loose with some stunning choreography which injects the show with an adrenaline shot, and actually brings the ensemble into the action far more than you would ordinarily expect.

The show just isn’t a visual spectacular the songs are just as powerful and lyrically hit every button, to make this a show to remember largely thanks to the incredible talent of Dave Stewart (Eurythmics) and Glen Ballard (producer/songwriter to some of the biggest names in pop music), it was a slight disappointment then that at times this was ruined by not being able to hear the songs being sung – especially during full cast numbers.

Ghost the Musical comes highly recommended and if you are still unsure, get along to the Opera House and I am sure you too will become a believer!

Photo: Sean Ebsworth Barnes

Runs until 20th July

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