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LAST NIGHT'S REVIEW: Ghost the Musical, The Mayflower
IT has even more magic than the movie.
That Oscar-winning classic starring Patrick Swayze, Demi Moore and Whoopi Goldberg captured the hearts of a generation back in 1990.
But the stage version, surely one of theatre’s most intense experiences, surpasses even the lofty heights achieved by the film on which it is based.
In the movies, of course, you can make anything happen. But in the theatre, it takes real ingenuity to summon up ghosts who make things happen from beyond the grave.
Director Matthew Warchus (Matilda) and illusionist Paul Kieve, famed for his work on Harry Potter, make it look easy.
Ghosts leaping through doors or into people – check; bodies hovering above the stage as they make their way to heaven or hell; check; a ghost fight on a subway train beneath Manhattan – check.
This is one rollercoaster ride of a show.
Ghosts cleverly emerge from their bodies and state-of-the-art video projections make you feel like you’re hurtling through the streets of New York at top speed.
It’s the most technological show in theatre and brings this tale slap-bang into the 21st century.
But don’t let that put you off.
The technology is a treat, but it never takes away from what is essentially a love story.
Banker Sam is stuck between this world and the next, trying to communicate with girlfriend Molly and avenge his murder.
Stewart Clarke and Rebecca Trehearn, as the pair, have genuine chemistry, more convincing in the famous pottery scene to the sounds of The Righteous Brothers’ Unchained Melody than in the scenes where they are both alive and setting up home together.
As in the film, phoney psychic Oda Mae Brown, who reluctantly comes to the aid of Sam after finding she does in fact have a gift, lights up the show. Actress Wendy Mae Brown is hysterical in the role as she is stalked by an army of the newly departed and withdraws millions from the bank. The colourful character dreams of living the high life clad in bright pink sequins and furs in one of the stand-out numbers.
David Roberts and Ivan de Freitas are suitably menacing and the office ensemble sequences are highlights.
Few shows can make you laugh out loud one minute and then cry buckets the next, but Ghost certainly does. Expect it to haunt you well beyond Hallowe’en.
- Ghost runs until Saturday November 9. Click here for tickets>>
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