Ghost the Musical
New Victoria Theatre, Woking
12-23 November 2013
Reviewed by Rachel Gully
On Wednesday, 13 November 2013 I visited the New Victoria Theatre in Woking to review Ghost the Musical, a theatre adaptation of the Oscar Winning 1990 film of the same name. Written by Bruce Joel Rubin, and directed by Matthew Warchus, the story pretty much follows the iconic film version in which Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore starred as a young couple living an idyllic life – she as a potter and him as a banker – until tragedy strikes and he is murdered in a mugging gone wrong… or had it?
There is great chemistry between Stewart Clarke and Rebecca Trehearn who play Sam and Molly, and both act their part incredibly well – they brought the theatre to tears. Clarke, who spends the majority of the show dead, brings a form of vulnerability to the character that was not portrayed in the original film. Not to be outdone, Trehearn plays the part of the grieving Molly beautifully, and there was not a dry eye in the house when she finished her solo ballad “With You”.
The role of Sam’s best friend, fellow banker and as we all know, the instigator behind the mugging, Carl Bruner, was portrayed by David Roberts who also did a good job. As Clarke does with Sam, Roberts brings a vulnerability to Carl that is not seen in the film and you get the feeling that he is actually distraught he is the reason why his best friend is dead.
For me, one of the best parts was that of the character, Oda Mae Brown, played by the aptly named Wendy Mae Brown and originally played in the film by Whoopi Goldberg. Playing the fraudster psychic Brown she really makes this part her own. With her comical, over the top performance, one of which I am sure Goldberg would be proud of; it’s a true portrayal of the larger than life character.
I was a bit sceptical to begin with on how a theatre production could possibly include all of the iconic scenes from the original film, like Sam walking through the door and entering the body of Oda Mae Brown. I was sure that there would be scenes missing, or altered –but I was wrong. At times the lighting was exceptionally bright that I wish I had brought my sunglasses with me, but this was very minimal and didn’t detract from the performance and the great, fun, dance routines choreographed by Ashley Wallen.
With its clever lighting, projection, and amazing 3D and 4D effects, this theatre production brought every iconic element that you remember from the film to life – even the pottery scene, although this was on a smaller scale. The phony American accents seemed a bit too much sometimes, as well as some raspy intakes of breath through their teeth being heard through the microphones, but even if you have never seen the film Ghost, or wasn’t a huge fan – Ghost the Musical is a must see. Whilst you may not leave knowing the songs (except for “Unchained Melody”), the production alone will leave you walking away feeling enchanted.
Ghost the Musical is showing at the New Victoria Theatre Woking until 23 November 2013, to book tickets click here.
For other tour dates and venues or to book tickets visit www.ghostthemusical.com