Review: Ghost The Musical

Eerily good


Everything that makes the genre-straddling Ghost work so well as a film has been retained in Ghost The Musical. It's a love story, it's a crime thriller and it's a comedy too.

Writer Bruce Joel Rubin has cut his original Oscar-winning screenplay enough to accommodate the 15 or so songs in Dave Stewart and Glen Ballard's rousing rock score without sacrificing the best bits.

Artist Molly (Caissie Levy) and Wall Street beefcake Sam (Richard Fleeshman) are the uber-couple wrenched apart when Sam is shot dead by a mugger. Illusionist Paul Kieve and director Matthew Warchus exhibit a staggering level of stagecraft as Sam - and every other character that dies in this show - makes the transition from life to afterlife. Ghostly figures are projected on to curtains of dry ice. Entire walls made up of Piccadilly Circus-style electronic displays move across the stage, shifting locations from Brooklyn to Manhattan.

There are new tricks too. Ghosts really do appear to walk through doors and pass through objects. Meanwhile, Fleeshman and the ridiculously talented Levy sing with power and finesse in a show that moves through yet two more genres - the musical and in the second act, the rock opera.

This is a technically well executed spectacular. But it is far less subtle at manipulating the emotions than it is in deceiving our eyes. Rather like the film, our buttons are pressed rather than caressed. Still, you will laugh (Sharon D Clarke's Oda Mae), you will cry, but mostly you will be awestruck.

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