Newest Review: ... no more about the plot. My lips are sealed. Cast Sharon D Clarke as Clarke Richard Fleeshman as Sam Caissie Levy as Molly Andrew Langtree... more
Ghost The Musical
Member Name: askmeanything
Ghost The Musical
Advantages: Clever use of technology will be sure to amaze you.
Disadvantages: Screaming instead of singing and too much noise!
I went to see this at the Piccadilly Theatre in London. I was in the Royal Circle (dress circle) and the view was of the whole stage without any pillars or posts. They are fantastic seats but now the very poorly rated 'Viva Forever' is currently being performed here. 'Ghost The Musical' is currently on tour and you can find details online for venue/performance times.
'Ghost' started off as a film way back in 1990. The lead male, film star, was the rather 'hunky' (a word we used in the nineties) Patrick Swayze. He can sway with me anytime! He plays Sam and the female lead, Mollie, is played by Demi Moore. It is a hit film and finally someone has the sense to convert it into the musical theatre production that I am fortunate to have seen in London's West End.
Lovers Sam and Molly are living together. Sam is a Wall Street banker. Nice guy, Sam, is shot dead in an apparent impulsive mugging. Sam becomes the ghost which the title refers to. This isn't a spoiler as this happens very early on. Sam has to understand he is a ghost, realise there is more to his murder than meets the eyes, and seeing that his Molly is in serious danger, take action. He should go to the heavenly light but he battles to stay to protect the woman he loves.
The only way Sam can fully communicate is through the wonderfully, laugh-out-loud, funny and reluctant, psychic. In the film version the psychic, Ode Mae Brown is played by Whoopi Goldberg.
I shall say no more about the plot. My lips are sealed.
Sharon D Clarke as Clarke
Richard Fleeshman as Sam
Caissie Levy as Molly
The cast, from 13 January 2012
Siobhan Dillon as Molly Jensen
Mark Evans as Sam Wheat
Sharon D Clarke as Oda Mae Brown
Andrew Langtree as Carl Bruner
Ivan de Freitas as Willie Lopez
Adebayo Bolaji as Subway Ghost
Mark White as Hospital Ghost
Lisa Davina Phillip as Clara
Jenny Fitzpatrick as Louise
Direct by Matthew Warchus
Music and lyrics by Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard
Adapted by Bruce Joel Rubin
Set and costumes designs by Rob Howell
Musical supervisors, Christopher Nightingale and Tesse Gohl
Produced by David Garfinkle and Colin Ingram
In my opinion the best, most entertaining, and clearest spoken member of the cast is Sharon D Clarke who plays the psychic.
The film has a really famous scene with lovers Sam and Molly at a potter's wheel. Clay and potter's wheel do not sound like they are sexy, but believe me between Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore it has got love, sex, and phallic-shaped pots, between wet clay, and sensual hands. Whilst they get passionate the famous track, 'Unchained Melody', by the Righteous Brothers, plays in the background. This is a classic film highlight so I couldn't wait to hear that song, in full, on the stage.
Songs written for the stage were sometimes dull but a few, the ones I could hear more clearly, were catchy cool.
This play has serious investment behind it. I went to see the brilliant 'Fiddler on the Roof' in the West End and they had almost no set design at all but this is fancy. We had skyscrapers, moving trains and all sorts. Projected images were used at the sides and back of the stage in spectacular fashion.
In the apartment of Molly and Sam the room looks real. Within it are the newly moved in couple with their friend Carl where they enter into poor and uninteresting dialogue. There is a radio in the background that plays a bit of 'Unchained Melody'. So this is when my excitement is raised but here comes my big gripe. We never get the famous song from beginning to end. It is too brief. I mean, come on, what's that about? If anyone can furnish me with the answer as to why the sexiest, most romantic scene, and song, doesn't get played through please comment.
There are things that happen on the stage that will make you suck in your breath with wonder. Maybe you'll applaud, but by gum, this theatre show has to be the best and most modern of special effects I have ever seen on stage. I got tricked time and again, and wow, that train scene will amaze you. This is high-tech usage at its best.
Why do theatres feel the need to turn up the volume so high? It meant that the words, written specifically for the stage, are drowned out. The tone of the music becomes, at times, just a loud noise. I also felt that some of the singers were screaming not singing. I won't name and shame but what a shame!
The second part, after the interval, was much more exciting, and engaging, than the first half. It really got going with the special effects as some of the early scenes nearly lost my attention. The real reason I didn't lose focus, in that first half, was because I was waiting for the famous love and 'Unchained Melody' scene. Humph to that!
Take your tissues. I worked so hard not to cry. I was really pleased with my effort. Especially when I could hear lots of people around me sniffing but, as the play reached the climax, there was a rather a strange feeling in my throat and my eyes were welling up. I was losing the battle to remain stoic. I rubbed an eye and, oh dear, I had joined the rest of the romantic cry babies. Tears were streaming down my face.
Love, laughter, spectacular illusions (not enough Unchained Melody - can't quite let that go) and awe, were some of the emotions I went through. Ghost the musical is a thrilling experience (in the second half) but the music was over-amplified, dialogue poor, and some actors like to scream instead of sing. It's the ghost story and special effects that win the day. Without it this musical would be quite bad!
Having loved the film (yes, it can be cheesy) I went to the theatrical musical with high expectations of plot (which was close to the film, but left out the whole of the big scene - I know I'll shut up now!) My expectations were disappointed but the musical was saved by the illusions. It was, despite my gripes, a thoroughly good night out. It's not the best musical I have seen but the stage special effects are the best.
'Oh, my love, my darling...'
Summary: Go for the techno show but don't expect the best scene in the film to be on stage.