London Lookout: ‘Here Right Now’ GHOST the Musical Captivates Audiences
A love story as old as time. A love so strong, it can cross dimensions into the afterlife. Yes, GHOST the Musical is a story so powerful that it needed to transfer from the screen to the stage to reach its full potential. Now you my think I am being sarcastic. Maybe a little, but this is quite the classic 80’s film and many, including myself, have been skeptical on how this musical adaptation could work. But let me tell you, it does. It works really well.
Bruce Joel Rubin, who wrote the original screenplay for the film, wrote the book for GHOST. So the story stays true to the original. Rubin also helped write the lyrics, along with Dave Stewart, of Eurythmics fame, and Glen Ballard, six-time Grammy award winner. Their pop influence is definitely noticeable in all the music, which combines pop, rock, and classic musical arrangements. The musical tells the story of a young couple, Sam and Molly, moving in together. Tragically, Sam becomes the victim of a mugging, or was it a murder? Sam, as a ghost, is able to make contact with Molly and together, they figure it out and become closer than ever. And yes, the pottery making scene is included, and they do Demi Moore and the late Patrick Swayze proud.
The fabulous Siobhan Dillon plays Molly. Her performance is heart wrenching, and if that doesn’t do it for you, then her voice will bring tears to your eyes. Her sadness seeps through every note, as well as her hopefullness. One of her best performances is in “Nothing Stops Another Day”, but she takes audiences’ breath away in “With You”. Like the rest of the ensemble, her American accent is completely convincing.
Mark Evans is cast as THE ghost, Sam. Wow. Great acting, and his voice, no wonder Molly loved him. Every note is flawless. He hits every range of emotion that someone would go throughin his situation and does it without being over the top. Acting envolves reacting to others on stage. Evans is on the stage for almost every scene, but is only reacted to in half the show. This must be quite a challenge, but his performance lacks nothing and he commands the stage even when those on stage cannot see or hear him.
The character of Oda Mae is quite that, a real character. Sharon D Clarke does a phenomenal job portraying this quirky fortune teller. Her performance definitely steals the show. Her comedic timing is effortless. Whoopi, who played her in the original film, would be proud. “I’m Outta Here” is a huge show-stopper that will leave you wanting more from Clarke. Andrew Langtree plays the best friend, Carl. His character switches between caring friend to desparate money hunger villan. His transformation is well done and not over played.
Directed by Matthew Warchus, GHOST the Musical brings together the best of contemporary and classic dance, pop music, and theatre technology. The technical brillance of the show is mind boggling with huge moving LED walls, video projections, and treadmills. Rob Howell, set designer, and Hugh Vanstone, lighting designer, both one prestigious UK theatre awards for their designs. But one of the most stunning parts of the show is the illusions by Paul Kieve, illusionist for the Harry Potter movies. He makes people walk through doors, and fade into the beyond, leaving audiences questioning: how did that just happen?
GHOST the Musical leaps from the big screen to stage in an unpredicted, astonishing way. As it makes its Broadway debut later this week, be sure that it will make a splash there as it did across the pond. If someone tells me they loved GHOST, I will be sure to reply “Ditto”. Stay tuned to Luner on Theatre for our Brand New Series, London Lookout, featuring our West End Correspondent Molly Tom! And of course continue to check out the rest of Luner on Theatre for all the theatre news you don’t only want but need to know!