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Review: Ghost the Musical at Milton Keynes Theatre

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Ghost the Musical is a modern, classy show that truly maintains the enchanting quality of the 1990 film on which it is based.

Before seeing the show I was interested to find out how the producers would manage to condense the storyline into a musical format without missing out key scenes.

But I had underestimated the sophisticated stage techniques which can now be used to change the scenes almost as quickly as if you were watching a film.

One of the most outstanding moments of stage production is when Sam, who is a ghost, learns how to pass through doors.

From the audience’s point of view it really does seem as if Sam, played by Stewart Clarke, has put his body through a solid object.

Clarke and Rebecca Trehearn, playing the part of Molly, have a brilliant on stage chemistry which helps make the heart-breaking murder, and his subsequent quest to reveal the plot behind his death, all the more emotionally hard-hitting.

The first song Here Right Now, quickly establishes how the couple are in the prime of their lives, after purchasing a new house, and have plenty to look forward to.

But what if one of them dies?

That is the question which is explored to its gut-wrenching conclusion so memorably in the film and plays out poignantly in the musical.

Trehearn gives an outstandingly good performance of With You which is a powerful ballad that explores the utter desolation felt by a partner who is struggling to cope with the death of her soul mate.

The two main parts of the Ghost film which most people remember are the iconic ‘pottery scene’ and Whoopi Goldberg’s hilarious performance as the psychic Oda Mae Brown.

Fans will not be disappointed by the brilliant comic timing of Wendy Mae Brown who provides plenty of laughs as she bickers with Sam, the first ghost she has actually made contact with.

The producers of the musical obviously seem to make a conscious choice not to make the ‘pottery scene’ too much of a massive moment but it is beautifully acted by Clarke and Trehearn and does not disappoint.

The musical uses strobe lights and video projection to expert effect and a scene where Sam is flung around a moving train by the Subway Ghost makes you almost gasp with amazement at how cleverly actors can now combine with 3D visual effects.

Ghost the Musical really is a must see, even if you have never seen the film before. It is the most visually impressive show I have ever seen but it also packs an emotional punch that does not leave a dry eye in the house.

Ghost the Musical is at Milton Keynes until Sunday. To book tickets go to www.atgtickets.com/miltonkeynes

 

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