Its been a long time since I wrote here, but I felt the urge to kick start my theatrical ramblings again - these last couple of years have seen me do a lot, much of which I should probably have written about, though I guess it never happened. There is nothing but laziness to blame for this, not to mention the fact that I am not even convinced anyone actually reads these. Rather than spending weeks recapping what has happened, I am just going to pick up things as they are here and now, it should pretty much flow from my older posts.
I remember seeing something from "Ghost The Musical" performed at West End Live a couple of years back. Whilst it had a feel good vibe, I was skeptical of the musical as a whole, even without seeing the film. I had made the assertion that it would be a sloppy love story ripped apart by tragedy, I am not going to lie, romances are not really my cup of tea when it comes to performance - so this show was never going to top my list of "shows I must see". Though I had been seeing some people rave about it of late, so curiosity got the best of me, and I found myself with a ticket. At this stage I should be honest, I don't actually have a "shows I must see" list... always intended to write one, but remember what I said about laziness getting the best of me? None the less. I wanted to see what everyone was so excited about when it came to "Ghost", but the biggest question is whether or not the show would manage to win me over?
Just as I had expected those two years previous, it was another sloppy love story which is torn apart by tragedy, so there was no surprise there whatsoever. Though being laced with comedy, great stage affects and some fantastic show tunes, it easily shakes off the Mills & Boon tag that I had first given it. I wouldn't go so far as to call it a comedy musical, but there are some funny moments to counter the tragedy in good measure. Rather than being caught up in the romance it was easy to be absorbed into the feel good notion of eccentric psychic "Oda Mae Brown", who was fantastically portrayed by understudy "Lisa Davina Phillip", who had the audience in stitches with her take on the character. I would say Lisa was the star of the show, though I don't want to take anything away from the two leads in the shape of Mark Evans in the role of Sam Wheat, and Siobhan Dillon playing Molly Jensen who complimented each other so wonderfully well both in their acting and harmonies which were spot on throughout.
Granted the plot was a little predictable, especially for someone like me who finds themselves analysing the show so deeply as if it were a crime scene. But this aside the staging of the show was fantastic, the choreography was full on and in your face, and whilst at times it seemed a little excessive for the story, it was original and somehow worked in creating the hustle and bustle of city life (if walking through the London streets to the theatre itself wasn't reminder enough). The set itself was modern and relied on some superb lighting affects to enhance the story and bring you into its realm, I feel for this reason alone that the show would be difficult to tour without making significant compromises with the set, which makes me wonder if we will ever see this one in the regional theatres.
My only criticism of the show is the ending, it would have been beautiful had it have ended with Molly crying in the clutches of Oda Mae, having said an emotional goodbye to Sam. For some reason however, the director decided that there was a need to draw this scene out in bringing Sam back before he departs one last time. For me this ruined the moment between the three characters, and detracted from the drama of the final scene. Though this really is a minor criticism of what was overall a fantastic show.
So in all would I recommend "Ghost"? Yes totally. It will never be the best musical you have seen, but I don't think you will leave disappointed, at least not with the show itself. Seven pounds for a programme however... well thats another story.