Ghost the Musical. Surely just another all-singing, all-dancing crowd pleaser? This was the original reaction we had on hearing of Ghost, the West End smash musical now touring regionally, but yet, there was something that niggled, something that said this is different and a bit fascinating...
Ghost the Musical satiated and rewarded this curiosity by revealing itself as not only a fantastic story – the stage reinforces the film plot’s genius afresh – but a show determined to wow its packed audience. There’s visual effects by the gallon load and very non fussy, simple choreography from the Ensemble, which counterpoises what could otherwise be too much spectacle. There's also so much talent in this cast. Stewart Clarke as Sam has amazing range, doing the polished musical thing but also revealing surprising falsetto or rich emotional turns, while Rebecca Trehearn as Molly is winningly fragile. The duo two have fizzing chemistry, leaving us suspicious how onscreen only it is (the kiss at the end lasted a looong time).
Scenes are more powerful than Ghost the film, even under the flattering haze of nostalgia for the 90s classic. This is down to super incredible technology, delivered in association with Paramount Pictures. Digital backdrops recreate New York, with its glittering skyscrapers, or reams of figures crashing down as sharp suited bankers march to the beat. The 90s is cleverly procured with subtle touches of costume, while doing away with risible mementoes of the era – they have real mobile phones for example rather than bricks. A nice touch to keep the production fresh.
Of course we laugh in all the places we did in the film and sob at the end (along with many other sniffs heard along our row). But the main thing you’ll be gushing over when you tell people what a great time you had at New Wimbledon Theatre last night, is the effects. Dazzling.
Ghost the Musical is on at New Wimbledon Theatre until Saturday 11 May before touring the UK. Tickets: £15-£37.50. Londonist saw Ghost the Musical on a complimentary press ticket courtesy of New Wimbledon Theatre, an ATG venue